U.S. Markets close in 3 hrs 30 mins

Report: Monster Beverage Considers Expansion Into Alcohol, Cannabis

Dave Royse

Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ: MNST) has a thirst for more than just energy drinks.

The company’s CEO told shareholders Thursday that Monster could move into alcoholic beverages, including hard seltzers; nonalcoholic drinks; and is even open to exploring cannabis beverages, according to The Wall Street Journal

“We do have an appetite to look at alternative brands and to develop more beverages in the nonalcoholic ... as well as the alcoholic market,” CEO Rodney Sacks told investors in a private session, according to the newspaper's report. 

Need more cannabis news? Check out all of our coverage here.

Noncompete With Coke

Alcoholic beverages could come first, as they wouldn't be precluded by a noncompete clause the company has with investor The Coca Cola Co (NYSE: KO), WSJ said. 

 That arrangement expires in a year, after which Monster could look at an expansion into soft drinks.

Sacks said he wasn’t sure whether the company might consider a drink combining alcohol and caffeine, like Four Loko, which used to include caffeine.

After heavy criticism and being banned in some places, the malt beverage, produced by Phusion Projects, no longer includes caffeine.

Monster officials said it could explore cannabis beverages if they become federally legal in the U.S. 

Coca-Cola owns an 18.5-percent stake in Monster and distributes the beverage. The companies are set to compete, however, with Coca-Cola now selling an energy drink of its own in Europe.

Monster leads the U.S. energy drink sector with 42 percent of sales.  

Monster shares were up 3.79 percent at $66.26 at the time of publication Friday. 

Related Links:

The Street Debates Monster Beverage's Quarter

BMO Downgrades Monster Beverages After Hitting 'Peak Valuation'

See more from Benzinga

© 2019 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.