Move over, Red Bull. A Monster just passed you.

Last night, Hansen Natural (NASDAQ:HANS) happily reported that its Monster Energy 16-ounce cans just became the market leader in U.S. energy-drink sales, overtaking 8-ounce Red Bull cans for the first time. And it's the same story in the low-carb energy-drink market, too.

Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) barely maintained case volume in North America this quarter, and PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) shipped fewer bottles of pop domestically. Against this backdrop of hard times for drink peddlers, Monster sales increased 42.5% over last year, and it's only a matter of time before Hansen's energy-drink portfolio overtakes Red Bull's overall leadership. The Swiss drink mixer grew, too, but only at 11.3%, according to AC Nielsen.

All told, the increase translates to earnings of $0.51 per share on $282 million in net sales -- 31% above the year-ago profit tally on 15% higher sales. As you can already tell from those numbers, the net margin widened from 15.7% to 17.8%.

The hypergrowth era in Hansen's history is behind us, but there's still plenty of untapped market left to pour up. Energy drinks in general are still on the rise even in North America, and Hansen has only just begun to look at serious expansion in Europe, where Red Bull is at its strongest and the other drink giants are still growing.

So if you want to tap into the retail market now, when Wall Street sentiment for that sector is at its lowest, I think you'd do far better buying Hansen stock than more traditional retail plays, such as Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT), or even the venerable old Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) growth story. Hansen's core product has room to grow even in troubled economic times, and the stock is cheap at a price-to-earnings ratio of just 14 times trailing earnings, with analysts pegging long-term growth of 18%.

That's a massive price-to-value mismatch, dude. How sweet it will be to own Hansen stock once Mr. Market comes to his senses again.

Further Foolishness:

Wal-Mart, Starbucks, and Coca-Cola are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. Starbucks is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. The Fool owns shares of Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Hansen and Coke but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure runs on Monster, 2% milk, and recycled electrons.