All channel dollar sales (including grocery, drug, mass, and convenience stores) for the total snack and beverage categories during the four-week period ending April 22, 2017 were up +3.4%, according to Wells Fargo Securities and Nielsen data.
The timing of Easter this year likely contributed to the overall results.
Carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) excluding energy drinks saw sales buoyed by promotional pricing. Dollar sales in all channels were up 2% (-0.8% for 12-weeks; -0.6% for 52-weeks) during the four-week period, driven by average equal pricing declines of -1.8%, and likely driven by Easter promotions and equal unit volume up 3.9%.
Meanwhile, the energy category saw soft growth even with strong improvements from Red Bull. Energy category dollar sales growth (ex-Mutant, a CSD) was +3.8% (+3.4% for 12-weeks; +4.1% for 52-weeks). Red Bull sales continue to improve, up +7% for the period (vs. 6.1% for 12-weeks) and MNST energy sales (ex-Mutant) were up only +3.8% (vs. 3.5% for 12-weeks), Nielsen data found.
“While we are broadly encouraged by MNST’s innovation, we continue to have concerns given flat sales trends for Mutant (despite significantly higher distribution) and the delayed launch of Hydro,” said Bonnie Herzog, senior analyst for Wells Fargo.
Meanwhile, beer, flavored malt beverages and cider saw solid growth. Cider dollar sales in the four-week period were up +2.5% (+0.8% for 12-weeks and +1.7% for 52-weeks) driven by equal unit volume growth of +1.2% and +1.2% pricing.
Growth for the salty snacks category also improved. Salty snacks dollar sales increased +3.6% during this period (+3.1% for 12-weeks) on -0.1% equal unit declines and +3.5% equal unit pricing.