The plain bottled water, enhanced water, and sports drinks categories all posted volume, dollar and pricing gains at US retail in 2021 as the global pandemic continued to spur at-home consumption. Pricing in all non-carb retail categories tracked by BD posted accelerated growth for the full year, compared to the first-nine months of 2021. The higher pricing was triggered in part by escalating input costs for beverage makers, who took pricing actions to protect or recover profit margins. The table below provides a snapshot of the non-carb categories tracked by BD for the full-year 2021. The Green Sheet accompanying this story provides further detail.
PLAIN WATER. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola led pricing growth for the plain bottled water category in 2021, with both companies posting dollar sales growth. Volume was a different story, with PepsiCo’s brands growing +7.9% and Coca-Cola’s posting a -4.7% decline. Coke’s pricing growth was more than double the rate of PepsiCo’s, which impacted volume. Coke’s Dasani brand declined in volume and dollar sales, while PepsiCo’s Aquafina grew by both measures. Premium brands Lifewtr (PepsiCo) and Smartwater (Coca-Cola) posted strong gains. BlueTriton, formerly Nestle Waters, posted volume and dollar sales gains, as well +3.1% pricing growth.
FLAVORED AND ENHANCED WATER. The pricing gain for the enhanced and flavored bottled water category was more muted at +3.6% than for plain water, which grew +6.5% That helped the category post volume and dollar sales growth. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Keurig Dr Pepper all contributed to those gains. Coke’s Vitaminwater Zero and PepsiCo’s Propel turned in a strong performance.
SPORTS DRINKS. PepsiCo, owner of market-leading Gatorade, lost overall volume and dollar share of the sports drink category last year despite strong performance from Gatorade Zero. Coca-Cola’s Powerade, which ranks second, also lost volume and dollar share. Both companies raised pricing for their sports drink portfolios. Meanwhile, BodyArmor, fully acquired by Coca-Cola late in the year, posted a pricing decline of almost -4.0% while boosting both volume and dollar sales by more than +50%.
RTD TEA. In shelf-stable ready-to-drink teas, PepsiCo’s Lipton portfolio posted volume, dollar, and pricing gains that outperformed Coca-Cola’s portfolio. While Arizona Beverages posted pricing growth in line with PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, volume sales declined, and dollar sales underperformed the category.
METHODOLOGY. The Green Sheet linked above details retail performance for select brands within the water, sports drinks, ready-to-drink tea, and shelf- stable juice categories. The multi-outlet data in the Green Sheet covers supermarkets, c-stores, drug chains, mass merchandisers including Walmart, some club stores, dollar chains and the military channel. The data draws from two separate information sources. Data points were chosen to provide the best possible metrics for the brands, companies and categories for which data is provided.
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