Beverages: Specialty 2014

Samantha Oller, Senior Editor/Fuels, CSP

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Where the Gains Are

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

While not gaining at the double-digit clip of 2012, energy-drink sales in convenience stores rose a respectable 6.2% in 2013 to reach $6.7 billion in the 52 weeks ending Dec. 29, 2013, according to IRI. Unit sales grew nearly 8%.

Nielsen figures show c-store energy-drink dollar sales up 7.7% in the 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, 2014, to reach $6.2 billion, with units up 9.9%.

Sales of sports drinks, according to IRI figures, hit the brakes in 2013, with units off 2.5%. Nielsen data shows a tepid 1.6% bump up in units for the 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, 2014.

In other beverages, RTD coffee saw a healthy 10% jump in dollar and unit sales, driven by the North American Coffee Partnership’s Starbucks line, according to IRI.

Drink typeC-store sales
($ millions)
PCYAUnit sales
Energy drinks$7,521.44.1%3,035.05.9%
- Energy shots$803.5-8.8%254.5-8.0%
-Energy-drink mix$13.3-55.4%5.3-46.5%
Sports drinks$2,454.0-0.3%1,435.4-2.5%
RTD tea (canned/bottled only)$1,229.02.2%975.7-0.6%
RTD cappuccino/
iced coffee
RTD milk/milk
non-fruit drinks

Source: IRI

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, 2014

Energy drinks$6,165.97.7%2,517.89.9%
Sports drinks$2,317.52.5%1,324.81.6%
RTD tea$1,308.31.1%982.5-1.6%
RTD coffee$685.912.2%251.712.4%

Sources: The Nielsen Co., Dr Pepper Snapple Group

RTD Tea and Coffee

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

While c-store sales of ready-to-drink (RTD) teas appear stuck in neutral—IRI data shows units off 0.6% for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 29—RTD coffee and cappuccino saw unit sales up 10%.

The segment is dominated by brands from North American Coffee Partnership, a joint venture between Starbucks and PepsiCo.

Ready-to-Drink Teas by Brand    
BrandC-store sales
($ millions)
PCYAUnit sales
Lipton Brisk Tea$153.26.3%139.43.9%
Lipton Pure Leaf$125.125.1%71.226.3%
Gold Peak$96.412.5%57.813.6%
AriZona Arnold Palmer$86.3-5.3%83.1-4.6%
Total (including brands not shown)$1,229.02.2%975.7-0.6%
Ready-to-Drink Coffees by Brand    
Starbucks Frappuccino$424.74.5%150.62.1%
Starbucks Doubleshot$249.22.7%91.11.9%
Private label$5.9-10.9%3.5-16.2%
Starbucks Doubleshot Light$5.011.9%1.912.7%
Total (including brands not shown)$733.310.3%269.510.0%

Source: IRI

Customer in Focus

The negative buzz about potential health concerns surrounding energy drinks has given some consumers pause, according to research by Mintel. “Those who are active in the segment have either added or kept consumption the same in 2013 compared to 2012,” the research firm says in its latest report on the category. “Yet the media attention had some effect, with 11% of respondents drinking fewer energy drinks and 8% cutting back on energy shots in 2013.” Almost four in 10 respondents who were drinking fewer energy drinks said it was because they believed the beverages were not good for their health, Mintel reports.


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