It’s been a rough road for carbonated soft drinks amidst competition from other beverage categories.
The decline in total carbonated soft drinks’ (CSDs)—excluding Energy—dollar sales growth slowed considerably to -0.4% in the latest XAOC Nielsen period during the four-weeks ended Dec. 21, 2013 (vs. -5.6% PY). This was driven by equal unit pricing declines of -3.6% and equal unit volume increase of +3.3%, according to a Wells Fargo Securities report.
“We attribute at least some of this strength to Thanksgiving holiday being included in the period ended Dec. 21, 2013 (vs. the prior period last year); however, it is clear to us the fundamental challenges continue to persist though the CSD downturn may be moderating,” Wells Fargo Securities noted. “Downward pressure remains on Diet CSDs, as dollar sales declined -7.1%, disappointing but the best result of the past six periods. Isotonics dollar sales were up a +0.1%, while Liquid Teas dollar sales increased +2.4%. Energy $ sales were up +6.4%, led by Monster’s very strong +14.5% growth. Bottom line—CSDs remain under pressure as consumers continue to shift to other categories.”