SOI Category Focus: Mixed Results for Beverage Subcategories

CSDs hold their own as energy, bottled water, sports drinks grow sales

Steve Holtz, Online News Director & Beverage Editor, CSP

Energy drinks catching up to CSDs

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Despite frequent reports about the decline of carbonate-soft-drink sales, the beverage category did actually grow in convenience stores in 2013, according to preliminary NACS State of the Industry (SOI) survey figures.

CSDs account for 34.3% share of the beverage category in c-stores, according to the data reported last week during the SOI Summit, and grew 0.7% in dollar sales and 0.2% in unit sales.

Gaining ground, however, are energy drinks, which make up the bulk of the alternative beverages subcategory. According to SOI data, alternative beverages now account for 24.6% share of all beverage sales in c-stores, up 6.8% in dollar sales and 8.6% in units.

“Alternative beverages now account for 72% of CSD sales,” said Kevin Smartt, CEO of Kwik Chek Food Stores, who presented the category numbers during the summit. By that, he meant for every $10 of CSDs sold in convenience stores, $7.20 in alternative beverages are sold, up from $6.40 in 2012. (See related graphic above.)

In other key beverage categories:

  • Juice/juice drinks grew 3.9% in dollars and 2.2% in units.
  • Bottled water drew 2.2% in dollars and 2.5% in units.
  • Sports drinks grew 2.2% in dollar sales and 1.7% in units.
  • Ready-to-drink iced tea grew 0.9% in dollar sales, but lost 1.7% in unit sales.
  • Enhanced water grew 0.7% in dollars, but lost 0.7% in unit sales.

Steve Holtz, CSP/Winsight By Steve Holtz, Online News Director & Beverage Editor, CSP
View More Articles By Steve Holtz