NEW YORK — While packaged beverage sales spiked in March as people loaded their pantries amid the coronavirus crisis, trends mostly reversed in April.
For the four weeks ending April 18, dollar sales of nonalcohol beverages—except for refrigerated juice—were lower than 12-week trends, according to New York-based investment bank Cowen Inc. and global measurement and data analytics company The Nielsen Co.
The report compared dollar and volume growth for the four weeks ending April 18 with the 12 weeks ending on the same date. It showed how categories including carbonated soft drinks (CSDs), bottled water, sparkling and flavored water, energy drinks, sports drinks and refrigerated juices were affected in U.S. retail outlets, including convenience stores.
Click through to see how sales and volume growth changed as COVID-19 panic buying slowed.
In the four weeks that ended April 18, total CSD volumes were up 6.5% and dollar sales were up 6.8%, according to the report.
That was compared to 6.1% volume growth for the 12 weeks ending April 18 and 7.1% in dollar growth for the same 12-week period.
Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co.’s brands that increased in sales and volume growth over the four-week period were Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Sprite. For PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y., Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Mountain Dew grew in those four weeks. And for Keurig Dr Pepper, Burlington, Mass., and Plano, Texas, Dr Pepper, Diet Dr Pepper and Canada Dry all saw dollar and volume growth, according to Cowen and Nielsen.
While each of these beverage companies saw growth in the four weeks ending April 18, that growth was lower than what the companies saw over March and April, showing that pantry-loading trends slowed, according to the report.
Energy drink dollar sales fell 12.3% in the four-week period, below the 12-week trend. Monster Beverage Corp. and Red Bull dollar sales fell, except for Reign, which grew 2.8% in the four weeks ending April 18. Nielsen did not report volume growth for energy drinks in that time period.
Excluding sales of Reign, Monster sales would have been down 13.3%.
“Sales of energy drinks in the c-store channel contributed to the lackluster performance, with dollar sales down 17.8% in the most recent four-week period,” the report said.
Bottled water sales and volume growth was the highest among nonalcohol beverages in the four weeks ending March 21. But when people stocked up amid the coronavirus crisis, April growth was down.
Total bottled water volumes fell 9.5% in the four-week period, compared to the 15.5% growth seen in the 12-week time frame. Dollar sales were down 16.1%, compared to the 9.7% sales growth over the 12-week period.
Nestle, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s sales growth for bottled water for the four-week period was down 17% to 22%, according to the report.
Refrigerated juices grew 20% in volumes in the four-week period, vs. 14.4% growth over the 12 weeks.
Dollar sales were also up 23.6%. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Citrus World all saw growth in sales and volume, according to Cowen and Nielsen.