CSD Declines Worsen: Herzog

Worst results of the year "driven by weak diet trends"

NEW YORK -- Carbonated soft drinks registered their worst month this year during the four-week period ending April 12, 2014, according to beverage analyst Bonnie Herzog of Wells Fargo Securities LLC, New York. Carbonated Soft Drink sales 4-22-14

"Total CSD dollar sales declined 4.8% (-3.0% for 12 weeks) in the latest XAOC (eXtended All Outlet Coverage) Nielsen period," she wrote in a recent research note. The drop also was worse than sales data from the same period in 2013, when dollar sales declined 4.1%.

The decline was "driven by an equivalent unit pricing increase of 1.0% and equivalent unit volume declines of 5.7%," Herzog wrote. "We note that Easter was not included this period vs. the year-ago period, which likely dragged volumes down further. Downward pressure remains on diet CSDs with dollar sales down 9.5%.

Other beverage category statistics from the period:

  • Liquid teas had modest dollar sales growth of 1.0%.
  • Isotonics were up a solid 7.1%.
  • Bottled-water dollar sales were up 1.6%, while sparkling water continues to be one of the fastest-growing categories, up 24.5%.
  • Energy-drink dollar sales were up a solid 8.9%, led by Monster's strong 17.2% growth (including Muscle Monster), offset by Red Bull's modest growth of only 2.7%.

"Bottom line," Herzog wrote, "functional beverages, like energy, remain one of the few sources of growth in nonalcoholic beverages, while CSDs continue to remain under pressure."

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