Cold Vault Contradictions

2013 was a year of deceptive dominance for carbonated soft drinks (CSDs). While they still sell more units than any other beverage type, suppliers? efforts to reinvigorate the segment haven?t been enough to prevent its growth from slowing, or from seeing its share of packaged beverage dollar sales and unit volume drop ? reinforcing predictions that this isn?t a short-term slump.

Meanwhile, alternative beverages (including energy drinks) saw notable growth in average sales per store last year. With the target market of these products expanding beyond the young male demographic, they?re becoming an increasing threat to the shelf space of CSDs.

On the alcoholic-beverage side of the cold vault, growth of craft beer/microbrews slowed as what was once a niche segment becomes a mainstay for more retailers. Still, both this segment and flavored malt beverages significantly increased average sales per store in 2013.

Conversely, multiple other segments, including budget and popular beer, saw lower sales on a per-store and industrywide basis, reflecting changes in consumers? drinking preferences.

On a positive note, c-stores saw slight overall gains in competitive channel market share and average sales per store in the beer/malt beverages category.

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