Coke Energy Set for U.S. Launch in January

The Coca Cola Company today announced January 2020 as the U.S. launch date for its first energy drink, Coca Cola Energy.

The line, currently available in a full and a zero calorie SKU, debuted in Hungary and Spain earlier this year and is now available in over 25 countries in Europe. Two new flavors, Cherry and Cherry Zero Calorie, will be U.S. exclusives.

The entire line will contain 114 mg of caffeine per 12 oz. single-serving can, plus guarana extract and B-vitamins.

“We saw an opportunity to meet an unmet need in the category,” said Janki Gambhir, Coca-Cola Trademark innovation brand director, in a release. “While energy drinks are one of the fastest-growing NARTD beverage categories in the U.S. – with sales growing around 5% annually – household penetration has slowed

Coke Energy’s U.S. debut is the long-forecasted endgame to the soda giant’s dispute with Monster Energy; the Atlanta-based soda giant owns a 16.7% stake in Monster and distributes the brand’s products through its network of franchised bottlers in the U.S. and Canada.

The two companies split over the interpretation of terms of their 2015 distribution agreement, which prevents Coke from launching a direct competitor to Monster, unless introduced under the Coca-Cola trademark.

The matter was eventually settled in favor of Coke in an arbitration hearing in July. Both companies have reaffirmed their partnership throughout the process.

The Atlanta-based soda giant owns a 16.7% stake in Monster and distributes the brand’s products through its network of franchised bottlers in the U.S. and Canada.