2016 Results So Far Bode Well for C-store Industry: Part 4

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2016 Results So Far Bode Well for C-store Industry: Part 4

By Don Longo, Convenience Store News - 11/03/2016

NATIONAL REPORT — Packaged beverages were the second-highest revenue-producing merchandise category of in-store sales at U.S. convenience stores over the first half of 2016, according to the annual Convenience Store News Mid-Year Report Card.

Packaged beverages, including carbonated soft drinks (CSDs), energy drinks, juice, sports, bottled water, ready-to-drink iced tea and enhanced water, grew by 3.5 percent to $14.3 billion during the first half of this year. That’s up from a 2.4-percent gain in the year-ago period.

Meanwhile, beer sales rose by 3.1 percent to $10.7 billion during the first half of 2016. That’s a full percentage point better than the year-ago first-half period.

Overall merchandise sales were up 2.7 percent to about $95 billion for the first half of this year, an increase slightly less than the 3.2 percent achieved at last year’s mid-point; however, much better than the meager 1.6-percent gain of 2014.CSDs remains the largest subcategory in the c-store cooler. Although sales were flat over the first half of this year, that’s a slight improvement over the 1-percent decline during the first half of 2015.

Beer
Beverage

Sales for the second-largest subcategory, alternative beverages (including energy drinks), accelerated during the first half of 2016. Alternative beverage sales rose 4.5 percent to $3.7 billion, an increase from the 3.5-percent gain of the previous year.

It’s been a good year thus far for bottled water and enhanced water, too. Bottled water sales rose 6.9 percent, and enhanced water sales climbed a whopping 11.5 percent over the first half of 2016.

In the beer category, premium brands remain the largest subcategory with $5.3 billion in first-half sales, which represented a decline of about half a percent from the year-ago period.

Imports (up 16.4 percent), super premium brands (up 15.4 percent), and microbrews/craft beers (up 22.9 percent) are the hot subcategories in beer. All three of those subcategories outperformed their growth from the previous six-month period.

And stay tuned for Parts 5-6 of the 2016 Convenience Store News Mid-Year Report Card:
Part 5: Candy & Snacks
Part 6: Prepared Foods & Dispensed Beverages