CCM: US giant Monster Beverage thriving Chinese energy beverage market 11-11-2016

The US energy drink giant Monster Beverage has already began to break into the Chinese energy beverage market but its products are hindered by the trademark and intense competitions in China. It really takes time for Monster Beverage to stand firm and capture energy beverage market share in China, according to analyst CCM.


Currently, Monster Beverage Corporation (Monster Beverage) has already registered and founded Monster (“猛事特” Mengshite in Chinese) Beverage (Shanghai) Co., Ltd and entrusted Shanghai Shenmei Beverage and Food Co. Ltd., a large China beverage producer cooperated with The Coca-Cola Company, to produce its products of “Monster Energy” in China, according to China Nation Radio on 11 Aug.


Note: Monster Beverage product - Monster Energy

Monster Beverage, the second largest global functional drink producer, announced its plan to introduce its products into China in H1 2016. Monster energy beverages have been the most popular energy drinks in the US for its large capacity and high taurine content. It took up 52.80% of total energy drink sales in the US market in 2015. For instance, the taurine content of regular Monster energy drinks is approximately 2000 mg for a 473 ml can, vs. 125 mg for a 250 ml can of Red Bull in China.


Cannot help capturing market share in China


In fact, earlier in 2014, the CEO of Monster Beverage already stated his strong will to get Monster Beverage into the huge China market.


Rodney Sacks, CEO of Monster Beverage, stated in August 2014 that Monster Beverage would crack the China energy drinks market though it was complicated to get their products registered in China; and he believed that China was a huge market for Monster Beverage in the next 5-6 years.


Energy beverages are becoming popular among people who want specific health benefits from their food and drink. To date, China has become the largest energy drink market, and now has the highest growth rate in the world. In 2015, sales stood at over 1.30 billion litres, up 25.00% YoY, and sales increased by 15.16% YoY to USD9.04 billion, according to CCM’s research.


However, consumption of functional beverages in China still remains low: annual consumption averages 2 litres per capita, not even a tenth of the figure in developed countries. This huge market has attracted a number of domestic and overseas producers. Yet it may be hard for the foreign ventures to break into the Chinese market.


Monster Beverage is beset with difficulties in China


-Its trade mark got registered already


Before Monster Beverage's intended expansion into the Chinese market, an enterprise named Monster  (“曼斯特” Mansite in Chinese)  Beverage (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (Shanghai Monster) had already registered the trade mark "怪兽 ®" (monster in English) and launched a fruit drink under this name in China. Even worse, the products from Shanghai Monster have the similar package with that form Monster Beverage.


Note: Shanghai Monster product - Vitamin fruit drink

There are even some other copycats, such as  "鬼怪 ®" (synonym to "怪兽"). At last, Monster beverage chose to go with"魔爪 ®" (devil's talon in English) for its trademark in China.


However, regarding to the names and the packaging, it is confusing for the consumers to tell Monster Beverage products from Shanghai Monster ones.


“Entering China drink market, it will be the biggest challenge for Monster Beverage to distinguish itself from the Chinese monster version,” stated Liang Jiawei, editor of Amino Acids China News, CCM.


- Intense competition in China energy drinks market


Various energy drinks are now available in China, such as the well-known Red Bull, Eastroc Beverage, Hi-Tiger and Mizone, of which Red Bull accounts for the largest market share, around 80%. These products are more attractive than soft drinks, as they can help consumers refresh themselves and recover as well as reduce energy consumption.


Though Monster Beverage has already entered the China market, it still remains to be seen how Monster Beverage will localise its products for the Chinese market.


However, Rodney Sacks was quite optimistic about entering China energy drinks market. He expected that Monster Energy would cover 18% of the population in China, which is equivalent to 30% - 33% of China energy drinks market.


Rodney also planned to introduce Monster Energy to the market of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and some cities in mainland in this week. It is expected that Monster Energy will be better expanded in China.


“Facing such difficulties, the performance of Monster Beverage remains to be seen in China,” Liang added.


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