Energy drinks take centre stage in stores

Monster chiefs reveal importance of category

Monster has introduced a number of energy drink innovtions in recent times.
Monster has introduced a number of energy drink innovtions in recent times.

BOSSES for Monster have been providing evidence for something many Scottish convenience retailers will have realised – energy drinks have gone from being niche to mainstream.

And while this makes them key to growing soft drinks sales in store, parent company Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) stressed there was still room to expand the market through further innovation and tie-ups with iconic sports stars and events.

Rob Yeomans, vice-president, commercial development at CCEP, explained the category started as a functional drink in the 1990s, consumed for the energy hit.

But flavour innovation, at which Monster excelled, and the introduction of zero-sugar variants in the last 20 years meant energy drinks suited different lifestyles and helped insulate them against HFSS legislation, he said.

Yeomans added: “Monster and energy are now mainstream. Consumers drink the products for all sorts of reasons and this presents a massive opportunity.”

Yeomans cited data that showed the shift in consumer behaviours, with women now accounting for 41% of Monster drinkers and a spread across the age ranges.

And while the need for energy (69%) is still the lead reason for drinking Monster, the occasions are varied – travel (47%), work/study (43%), sport (34%), social, at home and with food (all 27%), gaming (21%) and leisure/hobby (15%).

The shift in shopper mission – on the go (56%), weekly shop (25%), top-up (21%) and special events (10%) – had also led to the introduction of four-packs, PMPs and a nine-pack for grocery, said Yeomans.

The boss said while the category had risen in value from £1billion to £1.96billion in seven years, Monster had grown exponentially from £114million to £613million in the same time.

With 74% of consumers open to energy beyond the current penetration, Helen Kerr, CCEP associate director of portfolio development, addressed the opportunities for growth.

She spoke about the importance of increasing the portfolio to tap into different occasions, as well as generating excitement through product innovation and partnering with people and events that consumers recognised – such as F1 driver Lewis Hamilton and the Isle of Man TT races.

Kerr said: “More than half of energy drinks’ innovation sales over the last year have come from Monster’s NPD – which has helped us grow our value sales by a massive £111million.”

She also stressed that the use of chillers and their in-store siting were key to driving up basket spend through disrupted purchases.

Meanwhile, Paul Goold, senior business development director at Monster Energy, described the Zero Sugar variant launched late last year as a game-changer as it was hard to differentiate in taste tests from the original.

And 2024 has already seen further new SKUs, with two PMP multipacks and the new Reserve Orange Dreamsicle.

He concluded: “I also want to emphasise the quality of our packaging. We’re proud of it because it has real standout on shelf and highlights the quality of the liquid inside.”