Monster Energy plots war with Coke's Relentless

LONDON - Monster Energy, the multimillion-pound US energy drink, is being launched in the UK by former Red Bull UK brand director Guy Carling.

The brand is aiming to take on Coca-Cola's Relentless, which is sold in a similar 500ml can and is aimed at men aged 18 to 40.

Known as Monster, it is owned by US soft-drinks firm Hansen Beverage Company and is due to launch in February. It is likely to be sold through convenience and impulse channels before being introduced into grocery.

Monster Energy's portfolio includes Monster Energy, Lo-Carb Monster Energy, juice variants Monster Assault, Monster Khaos and Monster M-80, and coffee energy drink Java Monster.

Carling left Red Bull without a job to go to last month after a major restructure by managing director Nigel Frood, who replaced Harry Drnec in May.

In the UK, Monster faces further competition from Danone Waters' V Energy drink, Red Bull and Coca-Cola's Burn, which are sold in 250ml cans.

Drnec, who left Red Bull after 12 years, is launching healthy energy drink Suso next year backed by £4m promotional spend.

The UK energy drinks market is worth more than £419m, according to ACNielsen.

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