Nielsen Reports Growth in Energy Drink, CSD Sales

nielsenwellsfargo970Energy drinks showed a surge in sales in the latest Nielsen xAOC (expanded all outlets combined) report, up 6.7 percent in year-over-year dollar sales for the 4-week period ending November 5. The boost, as reported by Wells Fargo Securities, follows a slow growth period for energy drinks of only 3.3 percent shown in Nielsen’s August report.

Wells Fargo noted improvements for Red Bull, which saw 4.1 percent growth in dollar sales over the 4-week period. However, it was Monster that topped the category with an 8.9 percent jump in dollar sales and 10.2 percent growth in unit sales. Monster’s Zero Ultra line had an impressive month, in particular; sales were up 18.7 percent in dollar sales according to the Nielsen data. However, Wells Fargo tempered its enthusiasm for the data and said while the numbers were encouraging, “it is far too early to call a turn-around from persistent weak performance throughout most of the year.” Meanwhile, Rockstar sales remain slow at only 1.5 percent growth while PepsiCo led the pack for individual product growth with its Mountain Dew Kickstart reporting 24.1 percent dollar sale growth.

The carbonated soft drink (CSD) category saw dollar sales improve over the 4-week period, which Wells Fargo attributed to a 0.7 percent average unit price growth. Sales were up 0.4 percent overall and the Coca-Cola Co.’s flagship brand saw its first positive growth in eight months at 1.4 percent. Fanta saw a 20.5 percent rise in dollar sales, coupled with a 5.8 percent increase to average unit price. I.B.C. however met a 17.5 percent increase to average unit price with an 18.5 percent drop in dollar sales. Diet sodas continued to decline in sales, falling 2.5 percent. PepsiCo’s diet sodas had an especially weak showing, as dollar sales dropped by 5.3 percent.

Overall among producers,Overall, the top CSD producers achieved mixed results during the period: the Coca-Cola Co. saw 2 percent dollar sales growth, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group sodas were up 2.1 percent, and PepsiCo’s CSD sales fell by 1.9 percent.

In other beverage categories, refrigerated and frozen juices took hits, dropping 3.1 percent and 10.1 percent in sales respectively. Shelf-stable juices saw modest growth at 1.4 percent.

LaCroix continued its dominance in the sparkling flavored water category with 71.1 dollar sales growth in the 4-week period and a 73.3 percent growth in the 52-week period. Average unit price increased 10.4 percent in the timeframe. Overall, the sparkling flavored water category saw a 16.5 percent sales jump.

RTD coffee also saw big gains. Overall, the category was up 10.8 percent in dollar sales despite big hits for several companies including Campbell Soup Co. (22.5 percent drop), Rockstar (69.8 percent drop) and for private label brands (21.3 percent drop). Coca-Cola Co.’s coffee drinks rose 47.2 percent.

Meanwhile, RTD tea (up 3.3 percent) and bottled water (up 4.7 percent) saw modest sales growth while still flavored water dropped 0.8 percent.