CSDs Benefit From Volume Growth, Easy Year-Over-Year Sales Comparisons

Buoyed by volume growth and new promotional pricing, sales of carbonated soft drinks are up 2.4 percent in a year-over-year comparison for the four weeks ending on April 14, according to Nielsen scanner data released in a new report from Morgan Stanley. Despite the positive news for CSDs, the report notes that the category benefited from a relatively easy comparison to the same period a year ago in which sales of CSDs were down by 8.6 percent.

Coca-Cola led the way for the category as unit sales of Coke CSDs rose by 2 percent in the year over year comparison. Dollar sales of Coke CSDs were up by 1.4 percent as average prices decreased by 0.6 percent. However, the gains were mostly offset by weaker sales of non-carbonated Coke products, most of which took a hit as a result of difficult year-over-comparisons. Coke saw particularly weak performances from its Glaceau product line (down 13.6 percent) and Powerade (down 22.3 percent).

Net sales of PepsiCo CSDs jumped by 3.4 percent over the same period in 2011 as unit sales of its carbonated products increased by 3.7 percent. PepsiCo’s non-carbonated line saw mixed results in the recent four-week period with its Isotonics products up 2.3 percent in sales, refrigerated orange juice down by 7.3 percent, and bottled water down 3.6 percent.

Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS) also saw a boost in sales of its CSD products, largely as a result of an easy year-over-year comparison. Dollar sales of DPS CSDs rose by 3.8 percent on an average unit price growth of 0.2 percent and unit sales growth of 3.9 percent. While Dr Pepper’s flagship brand increased by 4.4 percent in dollar sales, Diet Dr Pepper les declined by 3.4 percent. New DPS products had mixed results as  Sun Drop saw a mild decline of 0.3 percent and Dr Pepper Ten’s share increased slightly to 0.3%.