The world has an unquenchable thirst for energy, which is the primary reason why Coca-Cola has plunged in with both feet. Late last summer, the soft drink giant announced it would soak up a 16.7 percent stake in Monster Beverage Corp. for a net cash payment of $2.15 billion. As part of the deal, Coke is transferring its energy drinks NOS and Burn over to Monster, which is kicking its non-energy beverages over to Coke, including its popular Hansen’s Natural Sodas.


What makes Monster such a hot capture in the hyper-competitive, $27 billion global energy drinks market? Innovation, say observers. They’re constantly recalibrating their energy portfolio to put pressure on rivals. They’ve introduced high-protein Muscle Monster energy shakes (chocolate, coffee,  even peanut butter cup flavors), zero calorie drinks, and Monster Energy Ultra — a power beverage that’s lighter and less sweet. That innovation might explain why competitors like Rockstar, Full Throttle, NOS, and 5-hour are treading water. In the wake of the Coca-Cola deal, Monster announced on November 6 that third-quarter sales had increased 7.7 percent to $636 million.

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