Beverages: Bottled Water 2014

By 
Samantha Oller, Senior Editor/Fuels, CSP

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Where the Gains Are

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 29, 2013

According to figures from Nielsen, convenience store bottled-water sales rose around 4% in 2013 by both dollars and units, with gallons up 3.1%. The segments leading the pack: single-serve PET, take-home multipacks and sparkling, which is benefiting from consumers seeking a healthful alternative to carbonated soft drinks. On the downturn: bulk and sweetened/enhanced water. IRI figures for bottled water, which include sweetened/enhanced varieties, show dollars up slightly and unit sales off 1.4%.

Water type C-store sales
($ millions)
PCYA Unit Sales
(millions)
PCYA
Convenience/PET $2,818.4 -0.8% 1,833.9 -2.5%
Jug/bulk $198.4 -0.2% 106.3 -2.1%
Sparkling/mineral $96.1 42.4% 64.8 47.9%
Total category $3,113.0 0.2% 2,005.0 -1.4%

Source: IRI


Plain vs. Sweetened/Enhanced Water

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 28, 2013

Water type C-store sales
($ millions)
PCYA Unit Sales
(millions)
PCYA
Plain Water        
Single-serve $1,914.1 4.9% 1,387.6 4.3%
Take-home multipack $236.4 3.7% 53.8 2.0%
Convenience-serve/
PET
(less than 53 ounces)
$2,150.5 4.8% 1,441.4 4.3%
         
Multiserve/bulk $188.9 -0.8% 98.1 -3.0%
Sparkling $54.5 -2.5% 33.7 10.8%
Total category $2,393.9 4.1% 1,573.2 3.9%
         
Sweetened/Enhanced Water $506.0 -9.8% 311.6 -9.0%

Sources: The Nielsen Co., Nestlé Waters


Cross-Category Opportunity

Bottled water was the No. 1 item bought with a lunch sandwich, according to an analysis of POS data by Management Science Associates. The firm, which analyzed data from three c-store chains and a university’s foodservice program, found that bottled water was also a popular purchase with pizza (No. 7 out of top 10 categories), breakfast sandwiches (No. 10) and soups and salads (No. 2).


Bottled-Water Gallon Growth

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 28, 2013

After a 2009 spent largely in the red, c-store gallon sales of bottled water have grown from quarter to quarter. In 2013, gallons rose 3.1%, according to Nielsen.

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