PepsiCo and Bang Sign “Exclusive” North American Distribution Agreement, Effective Immediately

Dear Client:

Welp, we told readers it may be imminent, and now it’s come true: PepsiCo and Bang Energy maker, VPX, have “entered into an exclusive alliance for PepsiCo to distribute the portfolio of Bang Energy beverages in the United States,” the companies just announced, as PepsiCo reported Q1 earnings today.

This alliance is “effective immediately and is set to significantly increase distribution of the Bang beverage lineup.” 

Bang was born in 2012. The company claims to be carried in more than 200,000 outlets in the United States “with products designed to provide functional benefits to the next generation of energy consumers.”  

So what happens to Bang’s beer distributors? Well, BBD reported just a couple of weeks ago that Bang sent a form letter to some of its distributors — mostly A-B houses — complaining of a lack of focus, which many distributors took to mean Bang was perhaps laying a legal foundation for termination for-cause.

Note that this distribution deal appears to be exclusive to the Bang brand, so it is unknown what this means for the rest of the products in VPX’s portfolio. Will those products remain in an aggravated beer distributor network? 

PepsiCo Beverages North America CEO, Kirk Tanner, praised the brand’s “pioneering” place in the “performance energy” segment. 

“This alliance plays a central role in PepsiCo’s overall energy-beverage strategy and enables us to significantly accelerate the distribution of Bang Energy to meet rising consumer demand,” he said. 

This isn’t the first move PepsiCo has made in the space: In March, the company said it would acquire Rockstar Energy Beverages for $3.85 billion, overriding their previous exclusivity agreement chaining PepsiCo to that single brand in the energy segment. That paved the way for today’s announcement. 

More as it rolls in.

Until tomorrow,

Harry, Jenn and Jordan

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” – Sir Winston Churchill

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