Wells Fargo: Uptick in C-Store Beverage Sales Over July 4

A recent Wells Fargo Securities survey of convenience store retailers found that most saw an uptick in beverage sales over the July 4 holiday as compared to sales last year, according to Convenience Store News. The survey, which polled beverage retailers representing thousands of convenience stores, revealed that 75 percent of respondents had better beverage sales than last year with 40 percent indicating that sales had increased by more than 5 percent.

Bonnie Herzog, the managing director, beverage, tobacco and consumer research at Wells Fargo Securities, noted that convenience store beverage sales grew by about 7 percent year-over-year in the second quarter, according to the results of the survey. Herzog said that better weather, foot traffic, basket size, and higher retail price points are all key factors in improved sales, with Coca-Cola and Monster leading the way in beverage sales growth at convenience stores.

However, Herzog pointed to healthy pricing environment as most significant for beverage suppliers for continued sales growth. A majority of survey respondents said that beverage companies maintained prices in the second quarter of 2012 versus the same period in 2011, with some indicating higher prices for beverages.

“Relatively few survey respondents indicated that beverage manufacturers have reduced prices in Q2 2012 vs. Q2 2011,” Herzog said. “We view these trends as an encouraging sign that beverage manufacturers are sticking to their guns, despite easing input cost pressures. Further, about 22 percent of our respondents noted a 4 to 6 percent price increase on Coca-Cola’s products, suggesting pricing remains rational in the c-store channel.”