Hansen, A-B Energize Distribution

Monster, Lost, Rumba to be distributed through Anheuser-Busch wholesaler network

CORONA, Calif. -- Hansen Natural Corp. and Anheuser-Busch Inc. have concluded agreements for certain A-B wholesalers to become distributors of Hansen's Monster Energy and Lost Energy drinks, Rumba energy juice drinks, as well as an additional Hansen energy brand to be designated.

Monster, Lost and Rumba are currently distributed by Hansen in the United States through a network of beer and liquor distributors and soft drink bottlers. Hansen will transition distribution of Monster and Lost Energy drinks and Rumba energy juice as well as the additional [image-nocss] energy brand to select A-B wholesalers in markets to be designated by Hansen. It expects the process to begin soon and will continue over the next year.

Launched in April 2002, Monster Energy is the leading 16-oz. energy drink in the United States, the company said. Energy drink category sales are up 70% over the comparable period last year. In the United States, Monster Energy is the No. 2 brand overall with a 19.4% share, and Lost Energy is the No. 8 brand, according to ACNielsen Convenience Brand Rank for the 13 weeks ending April 1). Rumba energy juice is a new Hansen product.

Anheuser-Busch has a first-class distribution system that will enable Hansen to expand availability and improve the presence of our products across all channels, particularly in areas where our brands have historically been under-represented, said Rodney C. Sacks, chairman and CEO of Hansen Natural, Corona, Calif. We look forward to working together to build on the success of our Monster, Lost and Rumba energy brands and we intend to continue to evaluate additional opportunities with Anheuser-Busch.

These agreements will broaden St. Louis-based A-B's participation in the energy drink category and will bring popular energy drink brands into the portfolios of A-B wholesalers, Hansen said. In return, the agreements will result in Hansen energy drinks reaching more consumers through A-B's network of independent wholesalers.

A-B President August A. Busch IV said, We recognized the potential of this category when we launched our own energy drink, 180, in 2001. These agreements bring value to Anheuser-Busch, Hansen, our wholesalers and our retailers. They allow us to expand our business in this thriving category through our world-class network of wholesalers.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hansen is a major marketer of alternative and functional beverages and energy drinks. In addition to Monster Energy, Lost Energy and Rumba energy juice, products marketed by Hansen include Hansen's Natural Sodas, Hansen's fruit juice smoothies and Hansen's 100% juices, juice blends and multi-vitamin juices, Junior Juice juices, Blue Sky brand beverages and Fizzit brand powdered drink mixes.