Sacks says the Monster brand is “definitely taking foot” in Europe

Sacks says the Monster brand is “definitely taking foot” in Europe

Hansen Natural Corp plans to change its marketing strategy for its Monster Energy drink over the summer months in a bid to take market share from Red Bull.

Hansen Natural CEO Rodney Sacks said that Monster is “definitely taking foot” in Europe but that Red Bull’s new 16oz cans had enabled the firm to gain “additional traction and space”.

“What’s happened is [Red Bull] has obviously been able to create sales in dollar terms because of the higher price of the 16oz, but they also have been increasing volume and there has been some aggressive pricing from them, probably a little more than we have seen historically,” Sacks told analysts at Hansen's first quarter conference call late last week,.

He added: “On average, the brand has gained some traction, if you look at sales numbers in the category, Red Bull and ourselves are still selling. But we’re looking at that, looking at our own marketing programmes and we are going to address that going forward into the second quarter.”

Sacks said the firm will not be spending more on marketing to claw back some of its market share from a brand that remains the dominant player in most of Monster's markets, but that it will spend “differently”.

“I’m not sure we need to spend more but spend in a different way,” Sacks said. “We had probably not done a lot of promotions in first couple of months of this year, but we have a number of very unique promotions going into the summer including a promotion with Slash the musician which we think will be very popular.”

Sacks added that it is now looking at addressing market and “how to meet competition”.

Last week, Hansen said it will continue to seek new markets for its Monster Energy drink in 2010, after reporting a fall in both sales and profits in the first quarter of the year.

Net sales for the three months to the end of March fell to US$238m, down 2.5% from $244m in the same period of 2009.