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Monster Energy (MNST): Taking a Page from the CELH Playbook

June 9, 2023

Monster Energy (MNST), one of the largest beverage players in the LikeFolio universe, finds itself in an unusual position: the underdog.

The company is facing stiff competition from up-and-coming Celsius Holdings (CELH), a brand that has successfully tapped into emerging consumer trends.

Celsius Holdings: The New(ish) Kid on the Block

Celsius Holdings has seen a meteoric rise, with demand up a staggering +86% year-over-year (YoY) and its share price rocketing even higher: +158% YoY.

(Shout out to LikeFolio members who have been riding the Bullish wave.)

The company's key to success?

Leaning into consumer wellness trends and positioning itself as a “healthy” energy drink.

This strategy clearly resonated with consumers and unlocked tremendous growth.

Monster Energy: Learning from the Competition

Now, Monster Energy is taking notes.

The company is expanding its product line-up in order to better leverage wellness and sustainability trends.

Monster’s launch of "Tour Water" is a prime example of this strategy.

Originally available only to entertainers at the Vans Warped Tour in 2003, "Tour Water" is now available to the public.

Packaged in aluminum cans with vintage graphics, this product is a nod to the growing consumer interest in canned water as an alternative to alcohol and energy drinks, a trend that is on pace for multi-year highs.

Consumers are latching on to canned water for many reasons:

  1. Sustainability: Aluminum cans are more environmentally friendly than plastic bottles. They are easier to recycle and can be reused indefinitely without losing quality. This appeals to environmentally conscious consumers who are concerned about the impact of plastic waste on the environment.
  2. Taste: Some consumers believe that water stored in aluminum cans tastes fresher and cleaner than water stored in plastic bottles, which can sometimes impart a plastic taste.
  3. Convenience: Canned water is easy to carry, store, and chill. The cans are also resealable, which makes them convenient for on-the-go consumption.
  4. Novelty and Aesthetics: The novelty of drinking water from a can, along with the often sleek and attractive design of the cans, can make the experience more enjoyable for some consumers. This is particularly true for brands that use eye-catching designs and branding.
  5. Health: Cans do not contain BPA, a chemical often found in plastic bottles that some research suggests may have harmful effects on health.
  6. Social Settings: In social settings where beer or soda might be consumed from a can, having water in a similar form factor can be more appealing and socially comfortable than drinking from a plastic bottle.

The Underdog Strategy: Listening to Consumers

Monster Energy's strategy is clear: listen to consumers and open up its product line-up beyond traditional energy drinks.

The company is also launching a "total wellness energy drink" called Monster Reign Storm, further catering to the wellness-focused consumer.

Looking Ahead: Is Audience Base Expansion Possible?

As it stands Monster Energy is losing some momentum among consumers, with demand trending lower on a YoY basis and the competition heating up.

Will Monster’s new product launches and segment expansions can re-ignite audience growth and demand.

With shares trading near all-time highs, an opportunity may be developing. If Monster fails to expand its base and loses market share to competitors, the stock may be getting a bit ahead of itself.

The company may also prove successful in establishing itself among a wider audience with its new beverages, propelling the stock even higher.

Stay tuned, we’ll be tracking in real time...

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