As volume sales of carbonated soft drinks (CSD) remain in a freefall, major soda manufacturers continue to push the envelope with price increases, yet struggle to offset the sustained declines. A new Wells Fargo Securities report, which covers Nielsen xAOC (expanded all outlets combined) year-over-year sales data for the four-week period ending on September 5, showed CSD volume sales down 4.9 percent and dollar sales off by 1 percent, despite a 4.1 percent hike in pricing.
Notable from the report was the performance of Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) which saw a 0.8 bump in dollar sales of its CSD products based on a 3.3 percent increase in pricing and volume declines of 2.4 percent. DPS outpaced rivals the Coca-Cola Co. (down 1.2 percent in dollar sales) and PepsiCo (down 2.3 percent) which saw volume sales slide by 4.9 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.
Overall, DPS, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo enjoyed positive growth in their overall beverage portfolios. Wells Fargo noted that Coca-Cola’s 2.2 percent jump in dollar sales was the result of growth from its juice, water, and tea brands, which “partially offset declines in carbonated soft drinks,” Wells Fargo wrote. PepsiCo (up 0.9 percent) was buoyed by rising sales of its water, sports drink and shelf-stable juice products, while DPS’ dollar sales were up 2.2 percent in the period, an uptick “driven by modest growth in CSDs and strong results in juices and teas.”
Meanwhile, energy drinks continue to impress with dollar sales up 11.1 percent in the period. Rockstar had perhaps the most rousing month with 29.5 percent growth in dollar sales on a 27.6 percent surge in volume sales growth and 1.5 percent bump in pricing. Monster, which has been somewhat hobbled by distribution hiccups during its transition into the Coca-Cola system, showed strong growth as well (+11.2 dollar sales/ +12.6 volume sales/ -1.3 percent pricing), while market leader Red Bull continues to see dollar (up 9.4 percent) and volume sales growth (up 4.3 percent in the period) despite a pricing bump of 5 percent, one that went into effect in January.