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The Coca-Cola Co "doesn't share energy drink plans with us" - Monster Beverage Corp CEO

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Monster Beverage Corp has said it must "protect its own space" when competing against The Coca-Cola Co's new energy drink, Coca-Cola Energy.

Coca-Cola launched Coca-Cola Energy in a number of markets last year

Coca-Cola launched Coca-Cola Energy in a number of markets last year

In comments that suggest the feud over Coca-Cola Energy between the two partners will continue into 2020, Monster CEO Rodney Sacks said on Friday that a joint-approach to sharing shelf space in the energy category is not possible despite Coca-Cola owning a 16.7% stake in his company. Sacks said the two companies work independently to gain their own shelf space in the competitive energy drinks category.

"They [Coca-Cola] have their own business plan, which they don't share with us," Sacks said.

The CEO said Monster had so far dealt with the issue "effectively" but that he has concerns over the shelf space in convenience store coolers, where space is at even more of a premium.

"The coolers aren't on rubber, they can't expand," Sacks said. "There are only so many SKUs you can get in. If you put one in you have to take one out. That's where you get the compression."

Last year, Coca-Cola and Monster ended up in a US arbitration court after Monster complained about last year's launch of Coca-Cola Energy. Monster said the beverage infringed the distribution agreement between the two companies. Coca-Cola was eventually given permission to continue selling Coke Energy after the court sided with the drinks giant.

On Friday, Sacks also said Coca-Cola wants to position Coca-Cola Energy in the energy beverage aisle as opposed to the carbonates aisle because the company believes the brand can be incremental to the energy category and not cannibalise sales. Sacks said Coca-Cola wants its energy drinks to sit beside Red Bull. However, he claimed that US supermarkets had proved resistant to the idea and were placing Coca-Cola Energy beside other CSDs.

The Monster CEO said only Kroger supermarket has put Coca-Cola Energy in the energy aisle.

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