Coca-Cola to launch Coke-branded energy drink in US

Coca-Cola Energy drinksSource: Coca-ColaCoca-Cola said it will be stepping into Monster Energy’s arena after announcing plans to launch its energy drink in the United States.Coke will bring Coca-Cola Energy to the U.S. in January. It will be available in Coke Energy, Zero Sugar, Cherry and Zero Sugar Cherry flavors. The drink has already launched in 25 countries including Great Britain, Spain and Germany. The company announced in March that it plans to sell Coke Energy in 20 countries by the end of 2019.”As a total beverage company, we’re constantly looking for ways to evolve our portfolio and bring people the drinks they want — in a range of categories and package options,” brand director Janki Gambhir said in a statement. “Coca-Cola Energy was developed by listening to people who told us they wanted an energy drink that tastes more like Coca-Cola than a traditional energy drink.”As soda consumption in the U.S. declines, soda companies such as Coke and PepsiCo have been trying to use their brand recognition to supplement falling sales within the growing energy drink category. Monster Energy leads the market for energy drinks, representing about 43% of sales, according to data from Beverage Digest. PepsiCo has also tried to make efforts to move its Mountain Dew line into the energy drink category.Coke currently owns an 18.74% stake in Monster, according to FactSet. Monster has previously tried to stop Coke from selling its self-named energy drink, arguing that it violated the terms of a long-term distribution partnership. But an arbitration panel ruled in July that Coke is allowed to sell the energy drink globally under the contract.In Spain, the first market to launch Coke Energy, the drink had managed to capture a 2% share of the energy category as of July, according to CEO James Quincey. The drink will include 114 mg of caffeine per 12-ounce serving and contains naturally sourced caffeine, guarana extracts and B vitamins.It also said the Zero Sugar flavors are important since about 80% of the energy category is full-calorie options. “We’re confident that our zero-calorie options — and our inclusive brand — will appeal to an even broader audience,” Gambhir said.The drink will be unveiled at the National Association of Convenience Stores expo this week. The company also said it will be rolling out a limited-edition Coca-Cola Cinnamon flavor this fall, and launch Coca-Cola Cherry Vanilla and its zero-calorie option next year.Shares of Coke fell fractionally Tuesday, as the market as a whole sank on a weak manufacturing report. Shares of Monster Beverage fell more, nearly 3%. Coca-Cola has a market value of $232 billion, and Monster has a market cap of about $31 billion.

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