Csds Need To Look Over Their Shoulder

Spurred by new products, alternative beverages and sports drinks see double-digit growth

Traditionally, cigarettes and foodservice battle it out to be king of the convenience store dollar, but recently industry insiders have acknowledged that packaged beverages are giving them a run for their money. In fact, The Pantry Inc. last month pointed to the packaged beverages category, along with foodservice, as the key drivers behind the company's comparable-store merchandise revenue increase of 4.8 percent during its 2012 fiscal second quarter.

Overall, strong performances by alternative drinks and sport drinks are pushing the category to the top of the channel, mainly driven by new products. As one industry executive recently noted, it may be difficult to work new products into the cold vault, but it often pays off.

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