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15 January 2020 10:32

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

Coca-Cola continues its foray into the world of fashion in its latest Coke Energy launch — this time enlisting the help of Greg Dacyshyn and Greg Johnsen of Camp High. The sweatsuit is set to launch in time for Coca-Cola's latest energy drink, Coca-Cola Energy, which sees B-vitamins, guarana and caffeine infused together for a energized take on the classic soft drink. Also available in a zero-sugar and cherry-flavored version, look for Coca-Cola Energy to drop along with the Camp High gear in the coming weeks. 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. 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.

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Sacks said the two companies work independently to gain their own shelf space in the competitive energy drinks category. 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. The Monster CEO said only Kroger supermarket has put Coca-Cola Energy in the energy aisle.

So with a desperate need for some liquid energy, I grabbed my coworker Victoria Song and headed over the Coke Energy booth to conduct an impromptu taste test between Coke Energy and its two biggest competitors: Red Bull and Monster. If you want to see our full takes, check out the video above, but in short, Coke Energy is an energy drink that tries to taste more like normal soda, with a lot of the herby, medicinal notes you get from Red Bull and Monster hidden by that classic cola flavor, along with noticeably more carbonation. That said, Coke Energy Zero is a bit of a letdown, because without all that high-fructose corn syrup you can taste more of guarana. Still, both Coke Energy and Coke Energy Zero avoid the signature tang you find in Red Bull and Monster, so if Coca-Cola was looking for a way to make an energy drink for people who hate that flavor, I'd say Coke Energy delivers. As it turns out, Coke Energy has been available in Europe and Asia for months (though there are slight variations in taste depending on region) as part of Coca-Cola's efforts to compete with drinks like Red Bull and Monster. Previously, at events like CES when I need something to get me through the day, sugar-free Red Bull was often my go-to energy drink. Out of the full-sugar options, I think Coke Energy tastes the best, but when it comes to 0 calorie options, I think I still prefer Red Bull, though Coke Energy Zero isn't far behind.

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