Red Bull Gets Its Wings Back

Energy drink tops Monster in dollar share for first time since August

Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

Red Bull energy drink vs. Monster energy drink

NEW YORK -- Red Bull got its wings back over the holidays, outpacing Monster in terms of dollar sales in convenience stores for the first time since August 2014, according to Wells Fargo Securities research.

"Red Bull reclaims leadership position in energy," the report declared, citing Nielsen's four-week c-store data ending Jan. 17. "We attribute [Red Bull's share improvement] to its pricing growth and new innovation."

According to the report, the energy-drink category had solid dollar sales growth of 9.3%, during the four-week period, driven by continued solid results from both Monster and Red Bull.

Monster generated solid 10.4% dollar sales growth (and +9.7% for the most recent 12-week period), driven by overall 11.5% equivalent unit volume gains and a 1.0% average equivalent pricing decline.

Red Bull had 7.7% dollar sales growth this period driven by 5.1% equivalent unit volume gains and 2.4% average equivalent pricing as its new pricing went into effect at the beginning of January.

Wells Fargo's c-store scanner-data summary (See chart) shows Red Bull owned 38.1% of dollar share of the category during the four-week period, while Monster drew 37.9% share. For the full 52 weeks ending Jan. 17, Monster was the share leader with 38.3% of dollar sales vs. Red Bull's 37.7%.

Of the energy-drink category in general, Wells Fargo analysts Bonnie Herzog said, "We continue to remain somewhat cautious on Monster in the near term given Red Bull's new innovation and the possibility of minor distribution disruption in the U.S. during [Monster's transition to the Coca-Cola system]."

Energy Drink Brands' Dollar Share of C-Store Sales

For periods ending Jan. 17, 2015

  4 weeks 12 weeks 52 weeks
Red Bull 38.1% 37.4% 37.7%
Monster 37.9% 38.6% 38.3%
Rockstar 8.0% 7.8% 7.8%

Source: Nielsen C-Track Database and Wells Fargo Securities LLC

Steve Holtz, CSP/Winsight By Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News
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