Monster’s US convenience store sales hit by coronavirus

Sales of Monster’s energy drinks through US convenience stores were the main casualty in the lockdown resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, but retail sales remained strong.

For the three months to the end of March, Monster Beverage Corporation reported that net sales were US$1.06 billion, up 12.3 per cent, while net profit was $279 million, up 6.6 per cent.

Monster, based in Corona, California, said that although the impact of the pandemic on the energy drink producer’s sales for the first quarter (Q1) was not material, April’s sales were hit, although bottler/distributor sales to retailers in the US were far less affected.

Since mid-March, Monster has experienced a shift in consumer channel preferences and package configurations, including an increase in at-home consumption and a decrease in on-the-go consumption.

To date, sales in the second quarter have been hit as a result of fewer customers in convenience stores and the fuel stations – the company’s largest channel – and foodservice on-premise, while e-commerce, club store, mass merchandiser, and grocery and related business remain stable.

Since the pandemic hit, Monster reported that, while implementing stringent health and safety measures, its employees, co-packers and bottlers/distributors around the world have continued to ensure the integrity of supply chains.

The company’s flavour manufacturing facilities, co-packers, warehouses and shipment facilities, have continued to operate, although bottlers and distributors in some of its smaller markets have been more affected. Monster does not expect this to change because of the pandemic and isn’t experiencing raw material or finished product shortages in its supply chain.

Net Q1 sales for the company’s Monster Energy Drinks segment, which primarily includes Monster Energy drinks and Reign Total Body Fuel high performance energy drinks, increased 14.0 per cent to $992.5m, compared with the same period in 2019.

Net Q1 sales for the company’s Strategic Brands segment, which primarily includes the various energy drink brands acquired from The Coca-Cola Company, as well as the company’s affordable energy brands, declined 8.2 per cent to $64.5m, compared with the same period in 2019.

“Growth from our Monster Energy brand energy drinks internationally, as well as from our Reign Total Body Fuel high performance energy drinks, contributed to record gross and net sales for the 2020 first quarter,” said Rodney Sacks, Monster Energy’s chief executive.

“During the 2020 first quarter in the US, we launched a number of new exciting products, including a line of Reign Inferno Thermogenic Fuel, two new energy drinks in the Monster Ultra line, a line of Java Monster 300, and a line of Monster Hydro Super Sport, as well as NOS Turbo.

“Internationally, we added various Monster Energy brand energy drinks, and Reign Total Body Fuel high performance energy drinks to our portfolio in certain countries. Monster Energy Dragon Tea was launched in Brazil in the first quarter and in China in April 2020. Burn Dark Energy was launched in Russia, a new Nalu energy tea line was launched in Belgium, and Mother Epic Swell was launched nationally in Australia after a limited launch last year.

“We also launched Predator, our affordable energy brand, in additional international markets during the first quarter, including in Mexico, with plans for further launches of Predator this year.

“In January 2020, we launched our Monster Energy brand energy drinks in Israel, with further country launches and transitions planned for later this year.”