Consumers who want to wet their whistle on the run will continue to make juices and teas big sellers at c-stores. Increasingly, shoppers are targeting healthy and functional options when reaching for teas and juices.
Canned and bottled tea notched sales of nearly $1.6 billion in the convenience channel for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 26, 2021, up 2.8% versus the previous year’s period, according to IRI. Refrigerated teas saw sales of more than $203 million, a 7.8% rise.
Leading canned and bottled tea brands included Lipton at $640 million, up 6.2%; Arizona, with more than $275 million in sales, up 4.4%; Gold Peak, with sales exceeding $194 million, a gain of 1.4%; Monster, whose sales were just over $155 million, a dip of 5.7%; and Snapple, at more than $86 million in sales, down 2.6%.
Bottled juices should remain just as popular in 2022 as they were in 2021. According to IRI, for the same period, sales of bottled juices totaled $1.68 billion, a 7% increase. Top brands included Snapple at nearly $122 million, up 7.1% year to year; Minute Maid, with more than $80 million in sales, up 15.8%; private label, at more than $60 million, a gain of 3%; Bai, at close to $60 million, down 4.7%; and Arizona, with sales of more than $48 million, up 23.9%.
Healthy & Functional
“For juices, Army & Air Force Exchange Service shoppers are looking for more healthful options, such as lower sugar, as well as more functional options, such as collagen-increasing, cleansing and probiotic products,” said Melissa Kitchen, buyer III for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), which includes 589 Express convenience stores and 122 main stores.
“For teas, the trend is more holistic, less sugar and freshly brewed,” Kitchen added.
For both product categories, the AAFES is seeing successful brands promote mental and emotional well-being and celebrate shoppers’ identities.
AAFES has seen success with ‘two-for’ and ‘three-for’ discounts to build the basket and increase purchases.
“Cross-promoting functional juices with breakfast items has been beneficial, as has cross-promoting tea with other items such as water, energy drinks and hot food items,” Kitchen said.
With such a large percentage of juice sold being consumed for breakfast at home before leaving for work or school, convenience stores need to focus on selling and promoting smaller pack sizes in 2022, said Carmen Bryan, a spokesperson with GlobalData.
“The hope is capturing the 14% of people who consume breakfast while traveling or at work, according to the same consumer survey,” she said. “The use of meal deal promotions at lunchtime may also help stimulate the demand for these beverages.”