Founded in 2002, Monster Energy is ubiquitous across sporting events and convenience stores alike. Launched at the peak of the early aughts energy drink craze, the brand’s flashy cans were an instant success, leading Monster to become the No. 2 energy drink in the world — bested only by nightclub staple Red Bull. In 2022 alone, Monster’s global net sales amassed over $6 billion, accounting for over 30 percent of the category’s total market share.

What started as a high-caffeine empire has now spread into new territory by launching sports drinks, waters, and yes, even ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages (which are wisely caffeine-free, allowing the brand to avoid suffering the original Four Loko’s fate). Now that you know the basics, here are nine more things you should know about Monster Energy.

  1. Before there was Monster Energy, there was Hansen’s.

    Before Monster Energy was invented, Monster’s parent company — which was originally named Hansen’s — got its start as a humble juice stand in 1935. Founded by Hubert Hansen and his three sons, it was a tiny operation: The father-and-sons team traveled around Southern California providing film studios and retailers with freshly squeezed, unpasteurized juice. Their stand expanded into a full-fledged business, and in the 1970s, Hansen’s launched a line of sodas that are still available for purchase today. Shortly after the release of its soda line, Hansen’s was acquired by the California CoPackers Corporation, which renamed Hansen’s “Hansen Natural Company” (HNC). Two decades later, in 2022, HNC went on to release Monster Energy. Ten years after that, Monster Energy became HNC’s top-selling beverage by a vast margin, prompting the company to rename itself Monster Beverage Corporation.

  2. There are over 40 flavors of the energy drink in almost a dozen different styles.

    If you were to dream up any possible flavor you might enjoy in can, Monster’s probably got you covered. In the beverage’s 20 years on the market, consumers have seen not just the release of the standard Monster Energy, but complementary creations like the sugar-free and extra-caffeinated Monster Energy Ultra and Java Monster, a line of coffee- and espresso-based energy drinks served up in flavors like French Vanilla and Salted Caramel. Monster also offers Monster Rehab as a tea-based energy alternative as well as Juice Monster, a lineup of six juice-based energy drinks in flavors like Aussie Style Lemonade and Pacific Punch. The brand has gym-goers covered, too: Its line of electrolyte sports drinks are bottled with 150 milligrams of caffeine. Most recently, Monster released Tour Water, which was previously only available for the brand’s sponsored athletes and musicians. Containing zero caffeine and zero sugar, Tour Water is exactly what it sounds like — water in a can.

  3. In 2022, the Monster Beverage Corp. dipped its toes into the brewing arena…

    In January 2022, the Monster Beverage Corporation announced that it had acquired the CANarchy Craft Brewing Collective for $330 million, marking the energy drinks first foray into the alcoholic beverage sector. Composed of seven distinct brands — Oskar Blues Brewery, Cigar City Brewing, Squatters Craft Beers, Wasatch Brewery, Deep Ellum Brewing Company, Perrin Brewing Company, and Revitalyte — CANarchy was founded in 2015 as a means of sharing knowledge across the industry and producing superior-quality beers.

  4. …and in 2023, its journey into the alcoholic beverage space continued.

    Monster’s non-caffeinated fermented malt beverage The Beast Unleashed hit shelves for the first time in January 2023. Bottled at 6 percent ABV, the drink comes in four of Monster Energy’s most popular flavors: Mean Green, White Haze, Peach Perfect, and Scary Berries. While the beverage company has yet to release exact sales figures on the RTD, the brand’s co-CEO, Rodney Sacks, communicated in a June 2023 shareholder briefing that initial sales had met company expectations. In the same briefing, he announced the release of Monster’s next venture into RTDs: Nasty Beast, a lineup of four non-caffeinated alcoholic teas. The sub-brand extension is expected to launch sometime later this year.

  5. The brand has an all-star roster of musicians and extreme athletes on its team.

    Since its inception, Monster Energy has made its mission to spend valuable marketing dollars on partnerships with A-list artists and athletes rather than traditional advertising ventures. In 2011, the brand launched the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour, an annual tour showcasing some of the best new names in hip-hop, EDM, rock, country, and college music. Some of the most notable artists who played on the tour include Kendrick Lamar, Post Malone, Kane Brown, and 21 Savage.

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    The brand also has a lengthy history of partnering with non-traditional athletes in sports like motocross, MBX, skating, and surfing. In the past, Monster has also sponsored athletes like F1 racing superstar Lewis Hamilton and partnered with U.K. football clubs like Newcastle, West Ham, and Southampton. In October 2022, the energy drink was named the official energy drink partner of the New York Rangers and Madison Square Garden, with concession stands called “Monster Energy Bodegas” in place at all events within the Garden. Most recently, Monster has turned its sights to video gaming, becoming the “Official Energy Drink of the Call of Duty League” in April 2023. As the league’s sponsor, Monster Energy has promised to provide its products for all gamers participating in the 2023 and 2024 competition seasons.

  6. The energy drink has a sponsorship program for adolescent athletes.

    Furthering the brand’s commitment to uplifting up-and-coming talent is the Monster Army athlete development program, which launched in 2005. Within the program, athletes between 13 and 21 who participate in extreme sports like mountain biking, motocross, BMX, skiing, surfing, and more are invited to apply online before they are evaluated by a selection committee. If selected to join the program, the athletes receive promotion from the brand and will represent Monster Energy at each of their competitions. Last year, athletes in the Monster Army program collected a total of 28 X-games medals and over 1,023 total podium placements in competition.

  7. Monster Energy was once deemed a dietary supplement.

    Once upon a time, Monster Energy was — believe it or not — considered a dietary supplement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It technically does fit the FDA’s qualifications as a “product taken by mouth that contains a ‘dietary ingredient’” that includes “vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs.” But following an increased societal push for more transparency on energy drink ingredients, the Monster Beverage Corporation made the decision to switch its FDA classification from “dietary supplement” to “conventional food” in 2013. Under the new category’s guidelines, Monster Energy had to change its labeling to read “Nutrition Facts” rather than “Supplement Facts” and — perhaps most importantly — disclose the true amount of caffeine in each serving.

  8. Who owns Monster Energy?

    Monster Energy is owned by the Monster Beverage Corporation, which was originally called Hansen Natural Corporation. While Monster Beverage Corporation owns a majority stake in Monster Energy, in 2015, the Coca-Cola Company purchased a 16.7 percent stake in the business, which expanded the energy drink’s distribution to new markets.

  9. When did Monster Energy come out?

    Monster Energy made its debut in April 2002.