McDonald's is testing out sales of Monster, the nation's largest manufacturer of energy drinks, in about 20 of its U.S. locations, the Wall Street Journal reports. The test began over the summer in five states—Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio—and the fast food giant has yet to divulge whether or not it plans to expand Monster (mnst) sales to more outlets.
McDonald's (mcd) and Coca-Cola (ko) have been in business together for over half a century. Coke has been the restaurant's beverage supplier since 1955, according to the New York Times, and the testing of Monster sales began after Coke bought a $16.7% stake in Monster over the summer for $2.15 billion.
The beverage company is diversifying its offerings as soda sales in the U.S. have steadily been declining in the past decade, while energy drink sales rose by 6.4% just last year. McDonald's has been selling 16-oz. cans of Monster for $2.29 and two cans for $4 at its test sites.
Robert Ottenstein, a beverage analyst at Evercore ISI, has said that "McDonald's long-standing relationship with [Coke] suggests a strong endorsement from [Coke] and the possibility of spreading." So it's likely that we'll soon start noticing Monster being sold at other fast-food restaurants as well.
This is just the latest attempt by McDonald's to reverse its downward trajectory and boost sales. Other efforts include a kale burger endorsed by James Franco, all-day breakfast, and a documentary shown to schools that promotes McDonald's as a weight-loss tool.