Rockstar Shifts Into Gear

Published in CSP Daily News

Coke takes on distribution of original 16-oz. energy drink

ATLANTA --Four months after introducing its 16-oz. Full Throttle energy drink, Coca-Cola is upping its energy-drink ante through a distribution deal with Rockstar Inc., makers of Rockstar Energy Drink. The combination of Full Throttle and Rockstar gives us a solid market position in this highly profitable category, which had more 2004 dollar growth in measured channels than any other nonalcoholic beverage category, said Terry Marks, president, North American Business Unit, Coca-Cola Enterprises.

Rockstar president and CEO Russ Weiner agreed. Combining [image-nocss] the power of the Rockstar brand and what I believe to be the strongest sales and distribution system in North America will take Rockstar to the top, he said. Under the agreement, Weiner will retain 100% brand ownership.

Marks said Coke will begin distributing Rockstar in the United States and Canada by the end of the first quarter of this year. He added that he doesn't see Coke's Full Throttle competing with Rockstar for shelf space. In fact, we see them to be very complimentary. Rockstar appeals to a younger demographic than does Full Throttle, he said. The energy category is growing at such a pace that we feel like it's important to have two significant brands in that category. We think this provides synergy. It gives us more scale at retail in a very important category.

Rockstar was created in January 2001 by entrepreneur Weiner with the objective of offering energy-drink consumers a better product coupled with value. The introduction of Rockstar created the 16-oz. energy-drink category.

In other energy-drink news:

San Diego-based Who's Your Daddy Inc. has entered into an agreement with a national retail chain to market a Who's Your Daddy proprietary energy drink in five stores in the Southern California area. If successful, the Southern California market will serve as a launching platform for the placement of the energy drink in 150 stores in the western region of the United States. Who's Your Daddy did not release the name of the retail chain. Iron Horse energy drink, manufactured by Iron Horse Beverages Inc., Plainview, N.Y., is now the official energy drink of Brian Brown and the Wise Guys Racing team. Fans can now purchase the drinks through Brown's website at www.brianbrowninc.com. The company also is expanding its distribution into the Midwest to make its drinks available at grocery and convenience stores. Herbalife Ltd., Los Angeles, has entered into the energy-drink market with the launch of Liftoff effervescent energy-drink dietary supplement, a first-to-market, sugar-free, zero-calorie, effervescent energy drink in a dissolvable tablet form. With two patents pending, each tablet contains a proprietary blend of natural herbs plus taurine, guarana and caffeine for energy, and Ginkgo biloba and Panax ginseng for an added mental boost. The tablets are dropped into water to create the drink.