February report: soft volumes and solid pricing

February brought soft volumes and solid pricing for the beverage industry, according to supermarket scanner data and Morgan Stanley Analyst Bill Pecoriello.

Sales of CSDs dropped 6.6 percent in February, Pecoriello said, which is an improvement from the 7.4 percent drop during the same period last year. Average price per volume across the category improved 4 percent compared to 4.4 percent last year. PepsiCo lost 7.5 percent of their volume and increased their average price per volume by 3.3 percent while Coca-Cola lost 5.6 percent of volume and increased average price for volume by 3.1 percent. Private label CSD volume dropped by 7 percent while their average price per volume increased by 4.7 percent.

Pepsi rallied in the sports drink category, partly on the strength of the G2 introduction, Pecoriello said. The company grew their volume by 11.6 percent while average price per volume grew 0.8 percent. Coke’s volume grew 2.2 percent, a big drop from its 22 percent increase a year ago. Their average price per volume declined 3.2 percent vs. a 6.3 percent drop a year ago. As a whole, the sports drink category grew by 9.5 percent, compared to a growth of 2 percent a year ago.

Pecoriello called the volume on bottled water “soft” at a 2.9 percent increase over the last four weeks – up a total of 3.6 percent this year. Pepsi’s Aquafina grew its volume by 4.6 percent, compared to Coca-Cola’s Dasani, which increased its volume by 16.1 percent. Both brands suffered a loss in average price per volume, with Aquafina down 9.5 percent and Dasani down 14.3 percent.