ATLANTA – The Coca-Cola Co. announced this week that it will be launching Coke-branded energy drinks, although the company declined to give a specific timeline, Reuters reports. Coca-Cola Energy and Coca-Cola Energy No Sugar will be the first two products in the new line.
A Coke spokesperson said the new drinks would have guarana extract and caffeine from naturally-derived sources. The move could put in jeopardy its close to 17% stake in Monster Beverage Corp., which Coke bought in 2015.
Coke and Monster Beverage are now in arbitration over Coke’s proposed energy drinks, which Monster claims is in violation of their original agreement. “We have submitted the difference in interpretation to an arbitration panel for resolution, which is the mechanism agreed by the Coca-Cola Company and Monster in the original agreements,” according to the Coca-Cola spokesperson.
However analysts expressed skepticism over whether consumers would flock to a Coke-branded energy drink. “While Coca-Cola certainly has the distribution muscle to push new offerings, we question the fit of an energy drink under the Coca-Cola trademark,” said analyst Vivien Azer with Cowen & Co.
Energy drinks aren’t the only new product line Coke is exploring. In September, the company said it was exploring cannabis-infused beverages.