Analysts report Monster Beverage likely to enter hard seltzer segment

21 Jul 2020

Stifel analyst Mark Astrachan released a report stating that he expects energy drink giant Monster Beverage to enter both the hard seltzer space and the non-alcoholic sparkling water category.

Both seltzer and sparkling water are two effervescent categories that have attracted a waterfall of attention in recent years. As the energy drink space becomes progressively more competitive, it is not surprising that Monster is looking outside its established brand portfolio to bring some energy to its earnings reports.

Analysts report Monster Beverage likely to enter hard seltzer segment
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“While we are unsure of product positioning, Monster is likely to launch a value-added hard seltzer that adds key product attributes ultimately expanding category usage occasions similar to how it has utilized innovation in energy drinks,” wrote Astrachan. “We think Monster is likely to seek distribution via a large beer network, with a product rollout in 2021.”

Brewbound reported that Monster filed for four trademarks for four names in June. The names are True North, Real North, Pure North and Northstar, and the trademark applications reveal that these new labels will be used for “seltzer water; water beverages; flavored waters; beer; brewed sugar based beer” and “hard seltzer; flavored brewed malt beverage; alcoholic beverages, except beer.”

Although popular, seltzer is a tight market. In the report from Stifel, data show that White Claw and Truly raked in 88% of the hard seltzer sales for 2019. However, there may be an opening for Monster. In the analysis, Stifel showed that these brands’ market lead slipped to 78% in the four weeks ending July 5. At the same time, demand for hard seltzer is still growing. Bump Williams Consulting data cited by Brewbound noted that sales dollars for seltzer jumped 295.8% to $1.54 billion during the year ending June 21. These figures are up from last 2019 when sales jumped 200% per Nielsen data; in the four weeks ending July 30, they increased 164%.

Monster has proven to be a successful innovator, and if Monster can replicate the success it mustered with the introduction of its Reign energy drink line, there is a good chance that it will be able to take a substantial slice of the seltzer market. Monster’s Reign brand is the fifth-largest energy drink in the category with 3.3% of the market share, according to the Stifel analysis.

Not only did Reign claim a top-five spot 14 months after launch, but the company simultaneously released other popular products onto the market, including its Java Monster Farmer’s Oats, a vegan oat milk-based energy drink. First quarter sales gained 12.3% earning the company $1.06 billion and indicating that the energy drink company is using innovation to its benefit. Likely it will be a similar story if Monster steps into the hard seltzer space.

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