From its humble roots as an ordinary unpasteurized juice manufacturer, Monster has steadily revolutionized the energy drink industry. The success story trails back to Southern California. Hansen Juices began trading in 1935 and mainly targeted studio and film retailers in the vicinity. As sales increased, the company changed its name to The Fresh Juice Company of California.
However, with stiff competition from veteran brands, Hansen went through a rough patch financially and eventually filed for bankruptcy in 1988. California Co Packers Corporation, a company in Hawaii, acquired the brand name in 1990. Years later, and as the company enjoyed better tidings, they moved to a modernized manufacturing plant in Corona. In 2012, shareholders suggested a name change to the present Monster Beverage Corporation. They also approved an increase of stock shares to 240 million from 120 million.
It was a new dawn when Monster partnered with Coca-cola in 2015. Thanks to an enhanced distribution channel and wide selection, the company consistently grew to an estimated total value of $46.11B. The company’s broad array of products ranges from Monster Energy Extra Strength, Coffee drinks, energy shakes, soft drinks, and others. Other fast-selling drinks include Zero sugar, Original Green, Full Throttle, Monster Energy, and tea-based beverages.
Monster Energy Drinks are a proprietary blend of Caffeine, taurine, glucuronic acid, vitamins, permitted sugars, and amino acids. The sugar used differs from the traditional sucrose. Monster uses glucose-fructose syrup, a sweetener made of glucose and fructose, which absorbs slowly in the body, minimizing chances of a “sugar crash.”
It is no surprise that the powerful energizing drink manages to clinch approximately 23% of the market share globally. Monster strives hard to beat the competition by targeting clubs, wholesalers, mass merchandisers, retailers, specialty chains, and full-service distributors in more than 100 countries.
With a young customer base in mind, the company’s marketing strategies primarily focus on extreme lifestyles and sporting events such as surfing, motocross, and skateboarding. An upbeat social media presence and particularly 8 million followers on Instagram forecast a thriving market scene likely to outshine the 400 million cans consumed annually in the States. Of course, Monster may have to increase the workforce from the current 3,666 to meet the rising demand.
The methodology used to pinpoint Monster’s main rivals rely on trusted sources online. In the analysis we compare tangible information like number of cans consumed, Instagram followers, number of employees, and company presence across the globe.
Simply put, the study concentrates on Monster’s energy drink major competitors. It does not however touch on sponsored events or indirect competitors like Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
Let’s jump straight to analyzing Monster’s eight biggest competitors.
1. Red Bull
Headquarters: Salzburg, Austria Founder(s): Dietrich Mateschitz and Chaleo Yoovidhya Year Founded: 1987
Red Bull has a rich history of making more than just an energy drink. This beautiful storyline takes us back to Thailand in 1976. Dietrich Mateschitz, an Australian businessman running errands in Thailand, tasted a local beverage developed by Chaleo Yoovidhya. Mesmerized by the drink’s immediate impact on his jet lag, Dietrich’s innovative mind went into motion.
Soon after jetting back to Austria, he analyzed and improved the drink for the international market with Yoovidhya’s consent. The pair would later launch the famous Red Bull GmbH in 1987. Since then, Red Bull has been inspiring people to think beyond limits. With their catchy slogan, ‘Red Bull gives you wings,’ the drink offers a feeling of well-being similar to a boost of adrenaline. After all, Red Bull contains taurine, Caffeine, Vitamin B, sugars, and Alpine water. The balanced mix of ingredients with a crisp and refreshing taste increases endurance, improves concentration and reduces fatigue without the usual jitters or crashes caused by Caffeine.
Red Bull is available in more than 170 countries around the world. Such level of success revolves around a combination of quality content through sport’s sponsorships, word of mouth and digital channels. Other marketing strategies include branding and guerrilla marketing via a humorous advertising tactic. When it comes to company ownership, Mateschitz has a 49% share. Chaleo’s 11 family members share another 49%. Then, Chalerm, Chaleo’s oldest son, owns the remaining 2%.
Red Bull has over 16 million followers on Instagram and more than 120,000 workers. Additionally, they actively partake in various digital marketing promotions on YouTube and other platforms. Thanks to this diversification, Red Bull sold more than 7.5 billion cans across the globe in 2020. The growth was more pronounced in emerging markets like Africa (25%), Brazil (30%), and India (37%) leading to an overall brand value of roughly €15.99 billion.
2. Rockstar Energy
Headquarters: Las Vegas, Nevada Founder(s): Russell Weiner Year Founded: 2001
Rockstar Energy is the brainchild of a business magnate Russell Weiner launched in 2001. Officially registered as Rockstar Inc, the drink contains Vitamin B, niacin, electrolytes, Caffeine, and sugar. Other ingredients are permitted herbs such as Ginkgo Biloba, Panax Yeng, guarana, and milk thistle extract.
Your favorite Rockstar Energy drink comes in various flavors such as Recovery Orange, Juiced Pomegranate, Punched Citrus, Juiced Mango, Roasted Espresso, Roasted Latte, Roasted Mocha, and Energy Cola.
Currently supplied by Pepsico, you can find Rockstar energy drinks in 16 oz cans. This is in opposition to other brands who sell similar content in 8 oz cans within the same price range. In 2021, Rockstar Energy sold more than $163 million in the States. The global revenue generated in the same year was $918 million.
At the moment, Rockstar has an impressive Instagram presence of 1.1 million followers. Such a large number of followers open doors for several sales programs and affiliate marketing which target more potential clients.
3. Eastroc Beverage Group Co., Ltd.
Headquarters: Shenzhen, China Founder(s): Eastroc Beverage Co. Ltd Year Founded: 1994
While Eastroc is another heavyweight in the industry, the drink is mainly found in China and neighboring countries. The energy drink has been an immediate success since its launch in 1994 due to competitive advantage in nutrition and hydrating properties. Almost three decades later, the brand value amounts to $11.8 billion, equivalent to 76.04 billion Yuan. Even if Eastroc produces other nutritious beverages, the energy drinks section generates more than 95% of the total revenue annually.
The main reason behind the success is value addition on their products like the Mandarin lemon water, Eastroc super drink, and bottled water. The Chen pit, Dongpeng Jiayi, and Dongpeng Shui are other best performing drinks. The main ingredients are taurine, food additives, citric acid, Caffeine, vitamin B12, sodium citrate, inositol, and Vitamin B12.
Presently, Eastroc super drink competes with China’s best, Red Bull and Hi-Tiger. At number three based on sales performance, the super drink enjoys more than 200% growth rate from its heydays. Eastroc currently employs 8,120 workers.
Headquarters: Los Angeles, California Founder(s): Jessica Newman, Ian Eisenberg, Derek Newman Year Founded: 2007
Zevia makes no compromise when it comes to nutrition and taste. Founded by Ian Eisenberg, Derek Newman, and Jessica Newman, the objective was to offer the market a healthier impactful option. The team did not disappoint because Zevia, with zero calories, is the best alternative beverage for the health-conscious.
Zevia uses Stevia extract, erythritol, and monk fruit extract as sweeteners, unlike other energy drinks. This powerful blend, also known as SweetSmart, helps reduce stress, sharpen focus and enhance mood. Barely a year after launch, Zevia won the best selling category on natural products in the States. Two years later, the fast-growing brand announced a 300% revenue increase from $925,000 in 2008. The company would later change hands to the present CEO, Paddy Spence, in 2010.
Lady luck was smiling on this brand because, in 2021, Zevia outshone others to clinch the best-selling soda in Whole Foods Market. At the moment, Zevia boasts an array of products like sparkling water, soft drinks, and an organic tea line. What’s more, they launched the Kidz line in 2019, featuring Disney characters on 7.5 oz cans.
In 2021, Zevia announced a total net sales of approximately $138.2 million. Compared to the previous year ($110 million) this was an incredible 25% growth. The gross profit also augmented to $61 million in comparison to $49.5 million in 2020. In addition, Zevia unit volume by the end of the year was about 12.3 million cases. At the moment, Zevia has 75 members of staff across various locations. With 120K followers on Instagram and an impressive growth rate, Zevia seems to have a fantastic future ahead.
Headquarters: Coleford, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom Founder(s): Thomas Beecham Year Founded: 1927
Who thought that a glucose syrup concoction would make roaring success decades later? Thomas Beecham’s intention in 1927 was to provide a reliable source of energy to the sick. Even after changing the name to Lucozade, the energy drink continued to prosper. By 1985, the company launched the tablet form and also branded Lucozade as an everyday drink and not only for convalescence purposes.
Lucozade Energy’s outstanding performance lies in its highly sophisticated formulation of Caffeine, acidity regulators, glucose syrup, sweeteners, and carbonated water. There are plenty of Lucozade flavors in the market now. Lucozade got you covered from the Wild Cherry, Original, Pink Lemonade, Caribbean Crush, Apple Blast, and Orange to Brazilian Mango.
The beauty of this strategy is the noticeable increase in consumption, especially in 2020, when more than 4.9 million purchased Lucozade. The brand, distributed by Suntory, penetrates 15 counties across the globe, making more than $ 512 million annually. Suntory limited employs over 670 employees for Lucozade.
Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia Founder(s): Tyler Benedict Year Founded: 2002
Before changing hands with Monster Beverage Company in 2009, Burn operated under the leadership of its founder Tyler Benedict. Launched in 2002, the brand hit it big with a higher caffeine level of 10 to 20% compared to other brands.
Even after Monster’s union with Coca-Cola, Burn has been a brand to reckon with, especially on social media platforms. Instagram takes the lead with 59.3 K followers. Additionally, Burn’s captivating tagline ‘fuel your fire’ has been an irresistible force enabling the brand to penetrate more than 80 countries globally.
Burn energy drinks come in several flavors like Pineapple, Sugar-Free, Mocha Energy, Apple Kiwi, Passion Punch, Tropical, Zero, Lemon Ice Berry, and Sour Twist. They all contain calcium pantothenate, taurine, caffeine, potassium sorbate, Sodium benzoate, guarana seeds, and coloring agents.
Headquarters: Corona, California Founder(s): Fuze Beverage Company Year Founded: 2005
NOS energy drink offers everything you need to fuel your body and mind. It was first introduced to the market in 2005 by Fuze Beverage Company and quickly became a favorite with professional drivers and racers.
After all, this is the only beverage in the market that shares a logo and name with an automotive accessory. Two years after the first production, Fuze sold the brand to Coca-Cola at approximately $250 million. However, Holley Performance Products, a Nitrous Oxide Systems company, still owns the NOS trademark.
With higher caffeine levels, taurine, amino acids, guarana, and inositol, NOS is an instant source of energy that lasts long. The exclusive formula also helps keep consumers alert, attentive, and focused on everyday activities. In 2021, NOS made about $107 million globally.
Thanks to stiff competition from other brands, NOS strengthens its presence through diversification. Some prominent flavors are the Nitro Mango, Sonic Sour, Power Punch, Original GT grape, and Turbo. Another strong point is the introduction of short interactive films and social media presence promotions. Undeniably, these strategies blaze a trail in the competitive market scene. Besides, more impactful content shared online increases the chances of going beyond the current 72.3 K Instagram followers.
8. Ionamin C
Headquarters: Jakarta, Indonesia Founder(s): Otsuka Pharmaceutical Year Founded: 1965
Ionamin C energy drink is a nod to two crucial things in life: energy and taste. Developed in an era when taste was least prioritized, Oranamin was a groundbreaking innovation way beyond its time. Otsuka Pharmaceutical capitalized on the massive void in the market by offering a nutritious carbonated drink that tasted pretty good in 1965.
It was nearly impossible for the Japanese government to register a carbonated drink as a curative product back then. Furthermore, there was no direct market distribution channel for such a product. Despite the initial challenges, the Oronamin C packaged in a 120 ml bottle is currently the best-selling energy drink in Japan. In 2019, Otsuka’s consolidated revenue hit $13 billion by the end of the year.
As Oronamin C spread to other regions like South East Asia, the company’s objective is to meet the rising demand for verified healthy products. Initially, overseas distribution started in 1985 with Middle East markets like Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, and Bahrain.
So far, Otsuka has over 3,453 followers on Instagram and employs over 47,000 workers globally. With numbers rising extremely fast, stakes are high that Oronamin C may surpass the $13.37 billion generated in 2021.