Soft Summer So Far For CSDs, Energy Drinks, Even Beer

Single-digit or worse dollar growth reported in c-store industry

Published in CSP Daily News

By  Steve Holtz, Online News Director & Beverage Editor

NEW YORK -- Carbonated-soft-drink dollar sales in convenience stores generally remained flat during the first month of summer, nudging out a minor boost of 0.2% for the four weeks ending July 5, according to Nielsen data reported by Wells Fargo Securities.

Energy drinks continued to grow during the same period, but at a slower rate than they have in recent months, suggesting a maturing of the category. Growing a “soft” 5.6%, the category was driven by relatively soft Monster performance, and weak results in Red Bull, which had only 3.5% growth.

Meanwhile, beer sales grew 1.0% during the four-week period and 2.3% over 12 weeks, mostly on the back of craft brewers.

Here’s a breakdown of the major beverage manufacturers in each category from Wells Fargo Securities.

CSDs

  • Coca-Cola Co. CSD dollar sales were up 0.9% (and 1.8% for 12-weeks) as a result of 3.2% declines in equivalent unit volume and a very strong 4.2% increase in average equivalent price. “Despite the relatively soft top-line growth, we are encouraged about Coca-Cola’s pricing initiatives driven by its price/pack architecture focusing on smaller package sizes to increase trial and purchase frequency and its ability to gain value/volume share.”
  • PepsiCo CSD dollar sales were up 2.3% during the month (and 1.3% for 12-weeks) with 1.8% equivalent unit volume declines and 4.2% average equivalent price growth. Pepsi also gained volume and value share this period.
  • Dr Pepper Snapple Group CSD dollar sales were down 0.9% during the period (and down 1.7% for 12 weeks) as a result of average equivalent price increases of 1.4% offset by equivalent unit volume declines of 2.3%. “Bottom line: Coca-Cola and PepsiCo both continued to outperform in this channel, while DPS remains under pressure.”

Energy Drinks

  • Monster Beverage Corp. saw 6.4% dollar-sales growth (and 8.2% for 12-weeks), driven by overall 5.1% equivalent-unit volume gains and 1.2% average equivalent pricing growth. Monster gained value share (+0.3%) in the c-store channel, as strong performance in core Green and Ultra was offset by ongoing weakness in Rehab.
  • Red Bull had modest 3.5% dollar sales growth this period driven by 3.5% equivalent unit-volume gains and -0.1% average equivalent pricing declines.
  • Rockstar had 0.9% sales declines, as well, while Coca-Cola’s energy offerings remain very strong, with 18.4% dollar sales growth and volume/value-share gains ahead of all its peers. “Bottom line: We are increasingly encouraged by Coca-Cola’s energy offerings and remain confident in Monster’s ability to return to double-digit growth despite recent softness in scanner data.

Beer

  • Anheuser-Busch InBev dollar sales were down 1.7% (and down 0.5% for 12-weeks) as a result of an average equivalent price increase of 1.3% and negative 3.0% equivalent unit-volume declines.
  • MillerCoors’ dollar sales declined 1.1% (and up 0.5% for 12-weeks) with average equivalent pricing growth of +3.1% and average equivalent volume declines of 4.1%.
  • Importer Constellation continued its solid sales growth trends of +15.5% (and +18.7% for 12-weeks). Heineken dollar sales were up 4.2%, and Boston Beer had dollar sales up 27.7%.
By Steve Holtz, Online News Director & Beverage Editor
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