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Coke Drops Its Energy Drink Line in U.S. Amid Weak Sales

Beverage icon Coke said Friday that it’s dropping its energy-drink line in the U.S. and Canada less than 18 months after introducing it.
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Beverage icon Coca-Cola  (KO) - Get Report said Friday that it’s dropping its energy-drink line in the U.S. and Canada less than 18 months after introducing it.

Coke started selling Coca-Cola Energy in January 2020 to compete in the booming category dominated by Austria’s Red Bull and Monster Beverage  (MNST) - Get Report. Coke holds a majority stake in Monster.

But Coke Energy didn’t catch fire. As of Dec. 31, it accounted for only 0.7% of U.S. energy-drink sales, according to Beverage Digest. Sales of the beverage will stop in the U.S. and Canada by year-end, Coke told The Wall Street Journal.

It will still be available overseas, where it is sold mostly in Europe.

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Coke recently traded at $54.84, up 0.61% in a rising market. It has climbed 25% in the past year, lagging the S&P 500’s 46% gain. The pandemic blunted Coke sales at restaurants, arenas, etc.

Coke is consolidating brands as it seeks to exit those that are underperforming.

"Our strategy is focused on scaling big bets across a streamlined portfolio,” a company spokeswoman told Reuters. “As we scale our best innovations quickly and effectively like AHA and Coca-Cola with Coffee, we need to be disciplined with those that don't get the traction required for further investment.”

Last month, Coke posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings, while noting that sales from stadiums, restaurants and movie theatres continue to be pressured by coronavirus closures. Adjusted EPS totaled 55 cents 4 cents ahead of analysts’ consensus.

TheStreet.com founder Jim Cramer discussed the earnings with Katherine Ross on TheStreet.com shortly after they were released.