C-Store Report: CSDs Flat, Private Label Juice Soars

Overall carbonated soft drink (CSD) sales in the convenience channel were flat in a year-over-year comparison for the four-week period ending on Sept. 8, according to a report from Wells Fargo Securities.

U.S. C-store dollar sales grew 2.7 percent during the timeframe, which includes the Labor Day holiday. Average unit pricing across all categories, including cigarettes, beer and other products, increased 3.5 percent, while volume fell 0.4 percent. Dollar sales in the C-store channel are up 1.9 percent year-over-year.

In total CSD dollar sales, The Coca-Cola Company recorded 2.8 percent growth during the period (up 0.7 percent year-over-year), while PepsiCo (down 2.2 percent) and Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) (down 0.3 percent) both saw decreases. Average price per unit across the category was up 2.9 percent. National Beverage Corp., the maker of LaCroix sparkling water, posted the biggest gains in dollar sales, up 14 percent against a 5.5 percent average price bump. Total CSD volumes fell 3.0 percent and are down 4.9 percent year-over-year.

Meanwhile, Monster’s total CSD dollar sales (down 48.7 percent) and volume (down 46.9 percent) both plummeted during the four-week period amid the company’s plans to phase out its soda line, Mutant.

Within the low-calorie CSD set, Coca-Cola saw a 5.7 percent increase in dollar sales, against an average price increase of 4.3 percent. Sales of PepsiCo diet sodas also fell, down 6.3 percent during the period. Stevia-sweetened beverage brand Zevia, however, continued to perform well: dollar sales were up 12.7 percent and average price down -6.6 percent during the four weeks.

Shelf-stable juices enjoyed 4.2 percent growth in dollar sales during the four-week period, despite losses for many of the industry’s large manufacturers. Coca-Cola saw dollar sales drop 14.2 percent, against a average price increase of 10 percent and volume decline of 21.9 percent. Dollar sales for PepsiCo (7.5 percent), Campbell Soup Company (13.4 percent) and The Kraft Heinz Company (30.7 percent) also fell during the period. However, private label products saw 92.3 percent growth in dollar sales , with an average price increase of 25.5 percent and volume boost of 53.2 percent, results that pushed overall category sales into the black.

Dollar sales for energy drinks, including coffee- and tea-based energy drinks, were up 6.0 percent in C-stores, which is relatively consistent with 6.4 percent growth in all channels. Total category volume was up 4.2 percent. Monster (11.1 percent) and Red Bull (7.1 percent) led the way in dollar sales growth during the four-week period, while PepsiCo (down 22.1 percent over the four weeks and 19.4 percent for the year), KDP (10.8 percent during the four weeks) and Rockstar (9.2 percent) all declined.