Skip to main content

Energy Drinks Boost Packaged Beverages

Carbonated soft drinks still lead the pack, but lose some of their fizz

After several years of decline, the packaged beverages category finally posted an increase in 2010. In total, packaged beverages (including carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, bottled water and sport drinks) rang up $138,646 in average sales per store last year, up 0.8 percent compared to $137,497 the previous year.

The slight boost came in part from alternative beverages, including energy drinks, which posted $20,136 in average sales per store. The figure was up 7.2 percent from $18,780 in 2009. This increase allowed the share of dollar sales for alternative beverages to creep up to 14.5 percent, with its percent of unit volume coming in at 9.7 percent.

Even so, this increase of more than $1,300 per store is relatively small compared to the power of the segment leader. The packaged beverages crown is still worn by carbonated soft drinks (CSDs). Even with a 3.2-percent decline in sales per store, this segment still drew 43.9 percent of category dollar sales. CSDs brought in an average of $60,910 in 2010 compared to $62,914 in 2009.

But carbonated soft drinks and energy drinks are not the only characters in the packaged beverages story for 2010. Bottled water sales once again saw a decrease, however small at less than $100 in average sales per store. The segment's percent of dollar sales held relatively steady at 13.3 percent, and so did its share of unit volume at 15.6 percent.

Other sub-categories posted increases, including juice/juice drinks ($15,004, up from $14,518), sports drinks ($13,189, up from $12,666) and ready-to-drink iced tea ($8,155, up from $7,302). At 11.7 percent, RTD iced tea had the largest percent increase of any packaged beverages segment.

While sales of packaged beverages may have stopped falling in convenience stores, the c-store channel still lags supermarkets when it comes to market share. The convenience channel accounts for 37.33 percent of dollars and 42.22 percent of units; however, supermarkets still hold the lead with 57.59 percent of dollars and 53.14 percent of units.

Fluid milk has also experienced a slowdown in its slide, with the segment only posting a 2.7-percent decrease in average sales per store in 2010, compared to a 13.8-percent drop in 2009. All areas of the segment notched slight losses, with the exception of flavored fluid milk, which saw a 2.9-percent increase in average sales per store.

Whole milk still dominated the segment with $11,051 in average sales per store, which is slightly less than half of the total average sales per store for the category. Taking all types of fluid milk into account, the segment rang up $28,661 in average sales per store last year.

One notable change from 2009 to 2010 was the decrease in all other fluid milk products (including soy-based products, lactose-free and aseptic milk). In 2009, other fluid milk products was the only area to see an increase, posting a 3.7-percent increase in average sales per store. However, the tables turned in 2010 with other fluid milk products recording a 7.3-percent drop to register $1,409 in average sales per store. — Melissa Kress

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds