Nielsen: Beverage Sales Rise Across All Channels

Overall snack and non-alcoholic beverages sales were up 5 percent during a four-week period ending on August 11, according to a report on Nielsen all-channel data by Wells Fargo Securities.

The Coca-Cola Company saw total beverage dollar sales increase by 3.6 percent during the period, led by 3.4 percent growth in total carbonated soft drink (CSD) sales. Average equity price growth was up 6.6 percent.

Led by Sprite Zero (increase of 10.6 percent in dollar sales) and Coca-Cola Zero (up 17 percent), Coke’s low calorie CSD portfolio outperformed its chief rivals, growing 7.1 percent in dollar sales compared to a 4.1 percent increase for Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) and 1 percent for PepsiCo. Bottled water was also a growth sector for Coke, growing 4.2 percent in dollar sales on 2 percent average price increase. Coke’s ready-to-drink coffee portfolio, which includes licensed partnerships with Dunkin’ Donuts and McCafe, enjoyed 30 percent growth in dollar sales for the four-week period.

Fresh off announcing its acquisition of home seltzer maker SodaStream for $3.2 billion, PepsiCo also enjoyed good news regarding its other sparkling water brand, Bubly, which launched earlier this year in 12 oz. cans. Nielsen reported that the brand gained 4.1 percent in dollar share of the sparkling water category over the four-week period, outpacing Topo Chico, which Coke paid $220 million to acquire last October. Overall beverage and snack sales for the company were up 1.4 percent, with modest gains of 1 in both regular and low calorie CSDs.

Staying with water, the data indicates that Nestle Water North America’s (NWNA) regional brands’ embrace of sparkling is paying dividends. Dollar sales of sparkling flavored water for Nestle grew 27.2 percent during the four-week period, led by a 48.1 percent increase in dollar sales for Poland Spring on an average unit price increase of 10.1 percent. Deer Park (75.6 percent) and Ice Mountain (129.9 percent) also were strong performers in dollar sales, with each representing 0.8 percent dollar share of the category.

The newly formed KDP saw total beverage dollar sales increase by 2.6 percent during the four-week period. Bai continues to bolster the company’s performance in shelf-stable juices (up 15.6 percent in dollar sales), growing 9.6 percent in dollar sales on average unit price decrease of 2.2 percent. Meanwhile, BodyArmor, which is set to leave the KDP allied brands portfolio to join the Coke distribution network later this year, enjoyed more gains in dollar sales, growing 113.6 percent.

The Nielsen data set is unlikely to quell rumors over the fate of Campbell Soup’s troubled C-Fresh division, which produces cold pressed juices and smoothies under the Bolthouse Farms label, as well as other refrigerated products. Dollar sales of Bolthouse Farms coffee products dropped -21.2 percent over the four-week period, while sales of its refrigerated juices declined by -15.9 percent. Overall dollar sales for Campbell Soup Co. refrigerated juices and drinks were down 17.4 percent on an average unit price decrease of 17.1 percent. However, liquid tea sales for Campbell were up 15 percent in dollar sales during the period.

In energy, Monster and Red Bull both enjoyed an uptick in dollar sales, with the former growing 7.7 percent and the latter 9.8 percent during the period. Rockstar, however, tumbled 7.9 percent.