Coca-Cola is buying a nearly 17 percent stake in Monster Beverage for $2.15 billion. Reaction can be summed up as such: It’s been a long-time coming, and it’s a win-win for both companies.
As part of the deal, Coca-Cola will transfer its existing energy drinks to Monster, and Monster will transfer its non-energy drinks to Coca-Cola.
“It really is well-suited for both organizations to focus on what they do, what they’re known for and what they do best,” says Darren Tristano, executive vice president with Technomic.
Consumers have been cutting back on sugary drinks lately, but the energy business has been growing. So while Tristano says these types of brand swaps are rare, it’ll allow each company to focus its strengths.
Coca-Cola was late to the energy drink game and its own brands haven’t been nearly as successful as Monster or its main competitor, Red Bull, says Ross Colbert, a global strategist for beverages at Rabobank International. Both companies have been successful at targeting younger, highly-active consumers.
“The category is very competitive,” he says. “It takes a lot of merchandizing.”
By clearing the decks of its other brands, Monster can focus on its core energy drinks, fed by the help of Coca-Cola’s huge distribution network. Coca-Cola will get some popular brands, too, like Hansen’s Natural Sodas.
“It adds some flesh to their portfolio, too,” says Tom Pirko, the president of the food and beverage consulting company Bevmark. “So we have a nice division of labor.”
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.