Monster energy drink

Monster has introduced several alcoholic products in the US, including The Beast Unleashed and Nasty Beast

A boozy brand extension for Monster is “not a focus” for the energy drinks brand in the UK, according to manufacturer and supplier Coca-Cola Europacific Partners.

Speaking to The Grocer, CCEP vice president for commercial development Rob Yeomans poured cold water on speculation it could be about to bring The Beast Unleashed, a 6% abv flavoured-malt beverage that launched in the US in 2022, to the UK.

“It has been trademarked in Great Britain, but its not a focus for us,” he said. “There’s no plans at the moment for us to move into that sector.”

Yeomans said that CCEP’s priority in booze was instead to grow its existing duo of alcoholic RTD products – Jack Daniels & Coca-Cola and Absolut Vodka & Sprite.

“We think the headroom for Monster as a brand is bigger within core soft drinks at the moment,” he added.

One area into which Monster could soon extend, however, was clean or healthy energy, which was a “super interesting area”, according to Yeomans.

“People’s definition of what healthy and natural is continues to evolve, and that presents an opportunity or us bring people into soft drinks or energy within that who might not previously considered it,” he said.

Yeomans’ comments came as Monster Energy debuted its latest flavour innovation – Juiced Bad Apple. The CCEP executive said additions like Bad Apple and last year’s rollout of Monster Zero Sugar continued to drive the brand towards energy drinks category leadership.

“The zero sugar variant itself is quite it’s quite exciting for us,” he said. “It allows us to put the green claw in different places around the store where we’re now restricted from an HFSS point of view.”

Yeomans declined to put a date on when Monster was likely to supplant Red Bull as the number one energy brand, however.

“We are already the number one in some different sectors, but I don’t think we’ve got a date in mind,” he said. “For us, it’s about picking off those individual sectors where we’ve still got opportunity and headroom.

“We’re pretty confident that by focusing on our innovation pipeline and continuing to add new pack formats we will get there relatively soon.”

He added that Prime – the viral soft and energy drinks brand which has grown sales to move than £150m in little over a year – was “a credible competitor” from which more established brands like Monster could learn.

“The level of cut-through they achieved was a real eye-opener, not just for soft drinks but for brands in general,” he said.