NEW YORK — Bottled water sales and volume growth was the highest among nonalcohol beverages as people across the U.S. stocked up amid the coronavirus crisis, according to investment bank Cowen Inc.
In the four weeks ending March 21, dollar sales of all nonalcohol beverage categories, except for energy drinks, were greater than 12-week trends, according to an industry update report from Cowen and global measurement and data analytics company The Nielsen Co. This is a clear demonstration of the COVID-19 pantry-loading effect across all markets, including convenience stores, the report said.
Bottled water, sports drinks and sparkling/still flavored water showed the highest levels of growth during that four-week period.
Click through for a closer look at the fastest-growing beverage categories in all channels during the spread of COVID-19. Nielsen and Cowen, both based in New York, provided the data.
Bottled-water volume grew the most among the nonalcohol categories and was up 52.5% in the four weeks ending March 21. That’s compared to 21.2% growth seen over the last 12 weeks.
Dollar sales were up 42.9% compared to 17.8% sales growth over the last 12-week period.
Sports drink volumes were up the second most, with 39.8% growth during the four weeks leading up to March 21, higher than the 14.7% 12-week growth trend.
Dollar sales were up 30.2% during March, compared to 18.7% over the 12-week period.
While the sales of sports drinks were likely helped by pantry loading, consumers also often turn to these drinks for electrolytes and nutrients when feeling ill, Cowen said.
Sparkling/still flavored water
Total category volumes for sparkling/still flavored water were up 28.1% in the four weeks ending March 21, greater than the 15.6% growth over the last 12 weeks.
Dollar sales were up 26.7%, higher than the 12-week trend of 15.8% growth.