It’s safe to say Bang Energy and PepsiCo are no longer friends.
Back in April, the energy drink maker and multinational food and beverage corporation signed a deal for PepsiCo to exclusively distribute Bang’s portfolio of beverages in the U.S. In its press release announcing the deal, Bang CEO Jack Owoc said it would be a “meteoric partnership” and “one for the beverage history books.”
It has quickly become the opposite.
On Nov. 17, Bang said it told PepsiCo that it had terminated the deal, citing multiple performance issues and concerns since the partnership began.
Never one to mince words, Owoc said, “Bang Energy has had, and continues to have, a remarkable 11-year relationship with many of its prior distribution partners, including the independent Pepsi bottlers. Therefore, we sincerely expected PepsiCo to execute at an even higher level based on their enormous resources and promises. Unfortunately, we were wrong. PepsiCo, you’re fired.”
And things have only become more heated since. On Nov. 25, Bang said it was suing PepsiCo, alleging that since the deal was terminated, PepsiCo has “engaged and continues to engage in gross misconduct.”
Bang’s lawsuit also alleges that PepsiCo resorted to intimidation tactics with independent distributors and major retailers like Walmart — and threatening lawsuits against anyone who fails to purchase Bang Energy exclusively from Pepsi. Furthermore, Bang said PepsiCo has “repeatedly and intentionally sabotaged” Bang Energy in the retail market.
In its press release announcing the lawsuit, Owoc said, “Unfortunately, we were blindsided and bamboozled.”
As of Tuesday, PepsiCo hasn’t given a public statement on the matter.