Me and My Brand: Gemma Nicholas of Monster

Gemma Nicholas, Commercial Development Associate Director at Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), on the monster-sized success of the energy drink market, and especially of Monster itself

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Gemma Nicholas

Can you give an overview of your brand?

Monster is world famous, not just for its great-tasting energy drinks, but also for its iconic brand and high-profile partnerships with extreme sports, music and gaming.

Monster’s the driving force in energy drinks, and has delivered more than half of the sector’s £148.2 million growth over the last two years in GB[1].

If retailers want their energy fixture to work harder, Monster’s the brand to make it happen. We’ve got the right range, and we’ve got the insights and expertise to go with it.

How is your brand currently performing?

Monster is the fastest-growing energy brand in GB, worth more than £321m and having added £63.5m to its retail value over the last year[2].

The core Monster range includes Monster Green, the third biggest on-the-go soft drinks SKU in convenience[3]. We’ve also got Monster Ultra, the number-one range in the zero sugar energy segment[4], and Monster Juiced, a range made with real fruit juice, worth £107m and in 55 per cent growth[5].

Reign Total Body Fuel is another important part of the Monster line-up; it’s the number-one performance energy brand in GB, and four times bigger than its nearest competitor[6].

How is the energy market currently performing?

Energy drinks are worth £1.25 billion in GB[7], and now account for one in three on-the-go soft drinks sold in convenience[8].

The sector continued to grow throughout 2020, as consumers looked for an energy boost while working, enjoying workouts or gaming in the home – to name a few of the occasions that became more popular  during lockdown.

We’ve aligned our brands to these home-based occasions without losing our focus on the impulse mission. Retailers and brands that get it right now have a long-term opportunity to cater for both. 

Do you have any new product development?

More than a quarter of the energy sector’s growth over the last year has come from new products[9], and to keep the momentum up, we’ve already launched three new products in 2021.

An energy twist on the iconic Moscow Mule, Monster Mule’s the latest addition to our core line-up, and it’s the first ginger-flavoured energy drink in GB.

Monster Ultra Fiesta blends a juicy mango flavour with the Monster energy blend, delivering a delicious energy boost with no calories or sugar.

And bringing together a mix of peach and nectarine, Monster Juiced Monarch uses real fruit juice to create maximum taste.

How are you supporting your brand & NPD?

Monster has a long relationship with the gaming industry, and we will continue to invest in the partnerships and money-can’t-buy promotions we know our fans love.

We’re excited for the sporting events we sponsor to come back, so that our fans can interact with us in person – and in the meantime, we’ll keep engaging them online with dynamic extreme sport and music content.

We’re also helping our customers capitalise on Monster’s continued success via an exciting new retailer support initiative called Sales Supercharged.

Check it out for tips, trends, inspiration, equipment info and POS – and chances to win free stuff!

How important are independent retailers to your brand?

Independent retailers have always been hugely important to us; in symbols and independents, Monster is outperforming the category in both volume and value terms – up 28.3 per cent and 30.8 per cent respectively[10].

CCEP has one of the largest field sales teams in GB, calling upon independent customers (in person or remotely) to provide the latest advice on ranging, merchandising and more.

What trends are occurring in the sector?

Many consumers remain understandably focused on saving money.

Larger pack formats deliver value for money – and make sense for shoppers looking to stock up for consumption the home. 68 per cent of the energy sector’s growth over the past year has come from sharing packs, and 41 per cent of that has been driven by Monster[11], which is why this year we’re launching more 4-packs of our latest and most popular variants.

PMPs are another great way to reassure shoppers that they can get the products they want, at an affordable price[12]. Our Monster Energy original and Monster Juiced ranges have a £1.45 PMP, and the Monster Ultra range has a £1.35 PMP. Price-marked 4-packs are available too.As always, the recommended prices on our PMPs are intended only as a guide for retailers, and there are plain packs available as well.

Other key trends include shopper appetite for flavour innovation – which they can rely on us for – and interest in health and wellness. Health is an even bigger motivator for consumers looking to improve their lifestyles post-Covid[13], and this is where our zero sugar Ultra range comes in – as well as Reign Total Body Fuel, which can help consumers achieve maximum results when working out.

Describe your brand in three words…

SUPERCHARGED, GROWING, TASTY


 

[1] Nielsen Total GB last 2 years week ending 26.12.2020

[2] Nielsen Total GB MAT week ending 26.12.2020

[3] Nielsen Indies & Symbols MAT week ending 26.12.2020

[4] Nielsen Total GB MAT week ending 26.12.2020

[5] Nielsen Total GB MAT week ending 26.12.2020

[6] Nielsen Total GB MAT week ending 26.12.2020

[7] Nielsen Total GB MAT week ending 26.12.2020

[8] Nielsen Indies & Symbols MAT week ending 26.12.2020

[9] Nielsen Total GB MAT week ending 26.12.2020

[10] Nielsen, Energy, Independents and Symbols w/e 26.12.20

[11]Nielsen Total GB MAT week ending 26.12.2020

[12] HIM Focus on price-marked packs 2019

[13] IGD Appetite for Change Report September 2020