Monster Energy will go head to head with Red Bull after a local food and beverages group signed exclusive rights to bring the United States' best-selling energy drink brand to the UAE, writes Gillian Duncan of The National.
Agthia Group made the disclosure in a stock exchange filing yesterday. "Monster Energy (MNST) is a fast-growing energy drink brand globally and is the leading energy drink brand in the United States," according to the filing.
With about 33.81mg of caffeine per 100ml, Monster Energy is slightly stronger than its rival Red Bull, at 32 mg per 100 ml.
It is the latest in a series of energy drinks companies to launch in the UAE, following an announcement last year by Pure Cofain, which has among the highest caffeine content of any energy drink found in Europe at 175 mg of caffeine per 250 ml can, that it planned to sell its products here.
"The marketplace is a very attractive one for energy drinks companies, not simply because of the demographics, which are very favourable, but also because we have a consumer base which does not drink alcohol so we have a substitution effect," said Richard Adams, a director and senior consultant at Acuity Middle East.
He added that Monster, which sponsors a number of teams and events, including Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Racing, should be able to compete.
"We will have to see [but…] Monster has done very well in other competitive markets," said Mr. Adams.
Energy drinks may be popular in the Emirates, but they have caused controversy in the past.
In 2011, officials urged parents to monitor their children's consumption of such drinks during exam periods. They were also banned from schools.
According to a report by the Specialty Coffee Association of America in 2011, UAE residents drink more coffee than those in any other part of the Middle East. They consume an average of 3.5 kgs of coffee each a year, almost double that elsewhere.