Wells Fargo: Modest All-Channel Gains Over Labor Day

Non-alcoholic beverages enjoyed a decent end to the summer season, as carbonated soft drinks (CSDs), energy drinks, water and several other key categories reported increases in dollar sales and volume, according to a Wells Fargo Securities analysis of Neilsen all-channel data.

Overall dollar sales for CSDs rose 2.2% over the four-week period ended on September 7, which includes the Labor Day holiday. The category is up 3.2% in sales from the same period one year ago. Average unit price for all CSDs rose 3.5% over the four-week period.

While full calorie and low calorie CSDs both posted modest growth — the former increased 1.8%, the latter rose 3.6% — dollar sales for both categories have decelerated from 12 weeks ago.

Within CSDs, The Coca-Cola Company enjoyed the strongest four-week performance, posting 3.9% overall sales growth and a 2.3% increase in volume. Full-calorie sodas grew 3.8%, while diet soft drinks rose 4.1%.

Meanwhile, PepsiCo saw overall CSD volumes drop 4.9%, with sales contracting 0.2%. The Purchase, New York-based company saw its average unit price outpace the category over the last four weeks, rising 4.9%. Sales for its full calorie CSD portfolio fell 1% and volume was down 5.7%. Dollar sales for diet sodas fared slightly better, growing 1.9% as volume fell 2.8%.

Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) also saw average unit prices in CSDs increase 4.9%, though dollar sales also grew 2.8%. Sales for full-calorie (2.5%) and diet (4%) sodas were both up.

The energy drink category grew at a healthy clip over the last four weeks, with dollar sales up 10%, volume up 5.8% and average price rising 4%. Though the brand has seen some deceleration from 12 weeks ago, Bang continued to drive growth in the energy category. Dollar sales were up 221.3% over the four weeks, with volume increasing 209.2% and average unit price up 3.9%. Meanwhile, Red Bull enjoyed 6% growth in both sales and volume as prices held steady. Monster stayed flat in terms of volume, with sales and average price increasing 5.3%.

In sparkling flavored water, Spindrift, PepsiCo and Talking Rain all posted sales gains. The former is enjoying a banner year: sales were up 110.7% for the four-week period and 131.5% for the year. PepsiCo continues to find success with Bubly, which saw sales grow 110.6% in the period, with volumes up 108.1%. Meanwhile, Talking Rain boosted dollar sales 13.4%, with volume slowing to 9% growth compared to 14% during the 12 week period.

Elsewhere in the category, Polar Corp.’s slowdown continued; dollar sales were up 8.4% across all channels during the 12-week period, but contracted 1.7% during the four-week period, and volume also fell 2.2%. However, year-over-year dollar sales growth is at 14% and volume at 11.1%.

National Beverage Corp.’s numbers reflected a year of turmoil for the La Croix maker: the company’s decline in dollar sales continued to accelerate, going from down 16.9% in the 12-week period to down 18.1% in the last four weeks. Volume is also falling, down 18.2% over the four weeks. Year-over-year sales and volume are down 7.3% and 9.7% respectively.

Still bottled water saw dollar sales swing from 4.3% growth during the 12 weeks to 7.3% in the four-week period, as average price for the category fell 1.6%. PepsiCo was one of the main beneficiaries, enjoying volume growth of 7.9% and a 7.8% increase in dollar sales.

In coffee, an average price cut for Califia Farms — down 7.2% during the four-week period — saw sales grow 16.9% and volume grow 26%; each was 12.4% and 18.6% respectively for the 12-week period. Danone North America also posted close to 20% dollar sales growth. PepsiCo and Starbucks’ North American Coffee Partnership recorded a 5.1% increase in dollar sales and a 5.5% increase in volume.

Finally, sport drinks enjoyed a 3.3% bump in volume during the four-week period, as well as 6.5% growth in dollar sales (an increase of 2.4% over the 12-week period).