Analyst reports January beverage sales

The beginning of 2008 delivered improving news to the beverage industry, according to Morgan Stanley analyst William Pecoriello.

Pecriello analyzed supermarket scanner data through Jan. 27, and found that sales of CSDs are down, but not down as much as last year. The first four weeks brought 3.8 percent decline in volume over January 2007 – an improvement over the 7.1 percent drop last year. PepsiCo fared worse than Coca-Cola, losing 4.3 percent of their volume versus Coke’s 2.5 percent drop, but private label CSDs took the biggest hit with a 8.9 percent drop.

Private labels fared better in the bottled water segment, selling 21.1 percent more volume this January than last, and growing their share of the market by 3.5 percent. Pepsi’s Aquafina increased its sales volume by 6.1 percent, and Coca-Cola’s Dasani dropped 4.8 percent after surging 54 percent last year. Overall, the bottled water category grew 4.1 percent, off from its 18.9 percent surge a year ago.

In sports drinks, PepsiCo tore market share away from Coca-Cola. Pepsi’s volumes – including  G2 – increased by 3.9 percent, and the company’s market share increased by 3.4 percent. Coca-Cola’s market share dropped 2.7 percent as their volumes declined by 16 percent.