CSDs had an outstanding year for both Kum & Go and Huck’s.

But overall in c-stores, the category only saw 0.5% dollar sales growth compared to 2019 and was down 4.7% in unit sales, according to IRI.

“The largest change we have seen within packaged beverage would be the resurgence of CSD,” Overmohle says. “It’s been a declining category for several years, and customers have been switching to diet or zero brands. With COVID-19, the trends switched to full-flavor sodas.”

Take-home package sizes saw large double-digit increases, Overmohle says, but single-serve outperformed, too. Dr Pepper Cream Soda was a huge hit and the top CSD innovation for 2020, she says. She’s also excited to see how Mtn Dew Major Melon does as customers look for flavor variety.

“Opportunities in CSDs will come from new flavor and texture profiles that excite regular soda drinkers, as well as the continued transformation of soda into a healthier and functional sparkling beverage,” according to the Packaged Facts report.

Davis of Huck’s says consumers’ wariness about using dispensed beverages is prompting the chain’s double-digit packaged CSD growth.

“It’s still a mindset where they just don’t want to touch that. … I just don’t think that mindset is going to go away anytime soon,” she says.