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No. of Recommendations: 3
Hi all,

Today my friend and I found the new Java Monsters in our local convenience store. Being the jumpy, anxious, addicted teens that we are, we bought most of the new flavors: Russian, Irish Blend, Nut Up, and Chai Hai. For the record, we are big fans of the original three.

My first impression of the Russian was that it really tasted like coffee and eggnog. I think this is a great drink with tremendous flavor and will appeal to a lot of people. And the red can is a real eye-catcher and should draw in some curious customers.

In my view Nut Up is the darkest Java Monster that Hansen has released yet. It is still sweet like the others but it seems like it has a more intense coffee flavor. Definitely a great addition to the line of products.

Irish Blend was very interesting and I would say not quite as unique as the other new ones. But it certainly has its unique taste but isn't straying too far from the "original recipe", so to speak. An interesting addition and I will be curious to see how it does.

Chai Hai actually tastes strikingly close to original chai (that I've had, anyway). This will certainly appeal to people who like that certain flavor. Given that the tea market is growing in the U.S., this is a great product to have on the market and I think will appeal to people who don't want quite as much of a coffee taste. Having it under the Java Monster name could be misleading, though, but given its originality and such I think it's a good product to have.

All in all, I was very impressed with these new releases. I honestly had no idea Hansen was releasing all these new drinks so soon, but given the quality of the products and the unique flavors of each one I find it all the more impressive. The can designs are excellent (especially the Russian) and should draw people in. Given how much of a market Starbucks has created for bottled coffee, Java Monsters quality and affordability compared to Starbucks should attract a good deal of new customers over time.

This quick development of these new, unique products is very impressive (as if I haven't said the word "impressive" enough). And I think we're only at the beginning of new product development and distribution. At this particular convenience store, Java Monster took up a whole row right at eye level, and the original Monster drinks take up most of the shelf below. With Anheuser-Busch in charge of product distribution, these new product releases will be all the more timely and more efficient. Hansen has a very strong balance sheet and you can bet that a lot of money will be going into R&D. I believe this smart expansion of Monster and Java Monster will soon bring Hansen to the top of the energy drink market. And if they keep it up with these quality products, the future is all the more bright. As long as management remains focused on product quality and doesn't get caught up in releasing as many new products as possible, I remain extremely confident in Hansen's long-term prospects. I'm tempted to invest more at current levels below $40. Hansen is simply in a great position and has already been raking in the cash.

Anyway, just wanted to give a quick overview of what I thought about the new products. I didn't get a chance to taste the Lo-Ball, but as far as I know it is essentially a low-carb version of the original three. It will be interesting to see what new products are released and how soon this year; remember that the original Java Monsters haven't even been on the market for a year. It will certainly be something to watch closely going forward in all departments of Hansen.

Best,

David K
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