CORONA, CALIF. — Monster Beverage Corp. plans to introduce a carbonated soft drink called Mutant that will extend its product portfolio beyond energy beverages and compete directly with PepsiCo, Inc.’s Mtn Dew brand. Later in the year the company also plans to introduce Monster Hydro, a bottled water energy drink.
Calling Mutant a “super soda,” Rodney Sacks, chairman and chief executive officer, said the new product will launch during the third quarter of this year and contain 115 mg of caffeine per 20 oz container, a slightly higher level than other beverages in the category, according to the company.
|Rodney Sacks, chairman and c.e.o. of Monster|
“… If you look at the convenience channel the Mountain Dew 20 oz is the leading product,” Mr. Sacks said June 14 during the company’s annual shareholders meeting. “And so that is the target.”
Mutant initially will be merchandised in the C.S.D. section of convenience stores and Mr. Sacks estimated its price point to be around $1.99 per beverage.
“It’s the evolution of sparkling refreshment, the perfect balance of drinkability and energizing flavor,” Mr. Sacks said.
PepsiCo’s Mtn Dew line features original Mtn Dew, Diet Mtn Dew and Kickstart. Mr. Sacks said he feels the line is targeting his products and that Monster’s new relationship with The Coca-Cola Co. makes now the perfect time for the company to respond.
“… Together we are … putting our resources together to basically go after and compete with the leading C.S.D. in the convenience space, which is Mtn Dew and which is really attacking us on our flanks,” he said.
Mr. Sacks added that profit margin expectations for Mutant will be lower than for other Monster beverages because of the number of parties involved, including Monster Beverage, Coca-Cola and the bottler, and the product’s price point compared to other Monster products will be lower as well.
The company is also not planning a major advertising campaign around the product launch.
“… That’s something we’ve never done,” Mr. Sacks said. “And it doesn’t mean we won’t do it, but at this point in time it’s not on the front.”
During the fourth quarter of this year Monster Beverage will be introducing Hydro, a non-carbonated energy hydration drink.
“You've got bottled water from mountains, glaciers, virgin springs, tropical islands and the Arctic,” Mr. Sacks said. “It is mineralized, fortified, ionized, electrified, pH balanced … straight out of the city tap. What’s the point? You’ve got to hydrate everyday so you might as well enjoy a boost while you’re at it.
“Monster Hydro, non-carbonated, lightly sweetened with natural flavors to make it thirst quenching and easy drinking. We added just enough of that Monster magic to get you fired up.”
The product will be available in 500 ml cans that feature an aluminum cap. At 120 mg of caffeine per can, Hydro will feature less caffeine than traditional Monster beverages.
“The process positioning for Hydro is it’s an energy drink,” Mr. Sacks said. “It’s just a different form of energy drink.”
He added that the product’s price will be in the range of $2.69 to $2.89 depending on where it is sold.“We believe Hydro is one of those good opportunities for us to create something that's new and that's different,” Mr. Sacks said.