Another Month of Growth for CSDs

August beverage sales show promise, followed by strong Labor Day weekend

NEW YORK -- The summer-selling season went out with a bang over Labor Day weekend, with convenience-store dollar sales of packaged beverages up about 4% vs. the previous year, according to a retailer survey conducted by Wells Fargo Securities.

convenience store cold vault

According to the survey, c-store beverage sales growth accelerated slightly, up 4% for Labor Day 2014 vs. 3.5% for Labor Day 2013.

“The largest contributors of this growth were: (1) successful product and package innovation from [Coca-Cola and Pepsi], (2) improved trends in the energy category and (3) improved traffic and increased basket sizes of purchases in c-stores,” the report states. “Further, total beverage sales are up 4% so far in the third quarter, led by Coca-Cola (+3%), Pepsi (+3%) and Monster (+7%).” Dr Pepper Snapple Group saw sales increase less than 1%.

New York-based Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog said she expected continued growth primarily in the energy-drink category, which “has re-accelerated in Q3, with sales projected to be up about 11%. Further, our retailers are generally very encouraged by Monster's innovation pipeline through its Ultra line extensions, as they are targeting new day-parts and increasing household penetration, which should drive incrementality.”

In a separate report, Herzog said total carbonated-soft-drink (CSD) dollar sales were up 0.2% (-0.5% for 12 weeks) in the latest Nielsen period during the 4 weeks ending Aug. 30, 2014, for all outlets (XAOC). The increase was driven by equivalent-unit pricing increases of 2.1% and equivalent-unit volume declines of 1.9%.

This represents the second month in a row of positive growth in dollar sales for CSDs, following over a year of declines.

Liquid teas had solid dollar sales growth of 6.2%, while sports drinks were up 3.2%. Bottled-water dollar sales were up 5.4%, with energy-drink dollar sales up a solid 11.0%, led by Monster’s strong 12.3% growth, followed by Red Bull’s modest growth of 7.1%.

In summary, Herzog said, “we are encouraged that beverage trends are picking up, and this should help drive better Q3 results for beverage manufacturers, particularly Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Monster.”

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a CSP member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Sheetz MTO Tops Hershey Kisses

C-store menu faces off against sandwich chain in semifinals

Category News

Shell USA Shareholders Approve Volta Merger

EV charger maker Volta to survive as unit of Shell USA


Shell’s Volta Acquisition to Put Company in Front on EV Charging

Purchase of electric-vehicle charger maker to assist oil giant in halving emissions by 2030


More from our partners