C-store sales of salty snacks were a mixed bag in 2013. The largest segment, potato chips, saw units off 2.6%, and cheese and corn snacks both lost unit volume as well. On the upswing: tortilla/tostada chips, snack nuts, pretzels, trail mixes and ready-to-eat popcorn, among others.
While convenience store sales of shelf-stable juice and fruit drinks were largely soft in 2013, there were bright spots in lemonade—unit sales up 10.6%—and in coconut waters. In refrigerated, smoothies provided a lift, and in canned juice and fruit drinks, a new item—Mountain Dew Kickstart—propelled the segment forward.
CSDs contributed more than 34% of c-store sales of nonalcohol beverages in 2013, down nearly a full point from the year prior. Gaining ground: energy drinks, which supplied more than one-quarter of sales.
Convenience store sales of cigarettes fell 1.4%, with units off more than 2% in 2013, according to IRI. The biggest areas of growth in the category could be found in smokeless—unit sales rose nearly 4% for chewing tobacco and snuff, with spitless tobacco up almost 3%. Electronic smoking devices—IRI’s term for e-cigarettes—rose by triple-digit percentages on an expanding base.