Sports drinks remain a volatile category, up one year (5% in volume sales in c-stores in 2016, according to IRI) and down the next (3.8% in 2017).
“Isotonic[s] have shown soft and negative sales trends all year … due to consumers awareness of ingredient levels, as well as looking for healthier choices,” says Platt of Nouria Energy.
Alternatives such as coconut water and nutrient-enhanced waters are certainly taking a toll on sports drinks. But the bright spot is the first real brand challenger in the category in years: BodyArmor, which saw three of its varieties rise into the top 20 of IRI’s c-store charts as the brand grew its volume by 60%.
Still, PepsiCo’s Gatorade owns the lion’s share of the category with nearly 80% of total dollar sales, while The Coca-Cola Co.’s Powerade maintains 17%. But BodyArmor’s nearly 4% (and growing) share suggests a category undergoing change. It was enough to inspire Coca-Cola Co. to launch vitaminwater active earlier this year.
2.5%: Decline in sports-drink category sales in all retail channels in 2017, compared to a deeper 3.8% decline in c-stores, according to IRI