For the first time in its history, Red Bull is coming to a nationwide restaurant chain.
Next month, Sonic will start selling Red Bull Slushes at its more than 3,600 locations nationwide. Customers less keen on the taste of the energy drink can opt for a Cherry Limeade Red Bull Slush for the same caffeine boost.
Sonic's Chief Market Officer Lori Abou Habib said that the company had been working on adding an energy drink option to its menu for several years, but realized that it needed a strong brand name to get consumers interested. As part of its partnership with Red Bull, the Inspire Brands subsidiary will also sell cans of the energy drink at its locations.
While soda consumption has been declining in the U.S. as consumers opt for less sugary options, energy drinks have largely managed to buck the trend. Privately owned Red Bull is the market leader both globally and in the U.S., while Monster, which has a market value of $29.7 billion, nips at its toes, according to Euromonitor data.
Sonic's competitors Carl's Jr. and Hardee's previously teamed up with Monster, while regional chain Steak 'n Shake sells Red Bull in its locations.
The amount of the energy drink in each Slush is proportional to the size that a customer orders. Ordering the smallest size means two ounces of Red Bull, while ordering a Route 44 — a 44-ounce Slush — means the entire can gets poured in. And because Red Bull is only available in a can, not on tap or in a soda fountain, Sonic employees will actually be cracking open cans to make the new product.
The Red Bull Slush will launch nationwide April 29. Sonic's Happy Hour deal will apply.