Liquid refreshment beverages across all US measured and unmeasured channels in total grew +4.5% by volume and +12.4% by value in 2021 as pandemic lockdowns receded, boosting sales in both the fountain and convenience channels. For reference, all-channel LRB sales had declined -0.8% by volume and -3.6% by dollars in 2020 following widespread stay at home orders, which closed restaurants and shut down travel. Dollar sales in 2021 were further boosted by higher pricing as manufacturers looked to blunt unprecedented cost inflation for raw materials, packaging, transportation, and labor. As shown in Table 1, all major beverage categories posted volume and dollar gains. Higher pricing drove the carbonated soft drink (CSD) category up +12.8% by dollars. Despite that, CSD volume grew +1.7%, which was the first gain by that measure in 17 years. The increase came after significant pandemic-driven fountain losses in 2020. CSDs comprise the largest LRB category by value in the US. As pandemic lockdowns lifted in 2021, improved foot traffic in convenience stores helped boost energy drink volume by almost +10% and dollars by +15%.
ABOUT THIS REPORT. Annually, BD publishes estimated volume and value sales data for the US liquid refreshment beverages (LRB) market, as well as categories including carbonated soft drinks (CSD), and energy drinks. The data included in this special issue estimates beverage sales for all measured and unmeasured channels, including packaged retail, fountain, and vending. At retail, drinks measured are generally single-serve, direct-store-delivered (DSD) beverages. The fountain channel includes restaurants, sports and entertainment venues, and other foodservice outlets. BD now includes chilled juice in this report and in the annual Fact Book (available for purchase HERE).
SPRITE OVERTAKES DIET COKE, CLOSES IN ON DR PEPPER AS ALL TOP-10 CSD BRANDS GAIN. As shown in Table 2, all top-10 US carbonated soft drink brands (ranked by volume) posted higher volume and dollar sales in 2021. This was driven by recovery in fountain and foodservice accounts, as well as higher prices and less promotional activity at retail. Sprite outpaced Diet Coke in both volume and dollar growth in 2021, helping the brand leapfrog Diet Coke to become the fourth largest US CSD brand last year by volume. On a dollar basis, Sprite was No. 2. The brand also fell just shy of Dr Pepper by volume. While Diet Coke’s volume share was little changed and dollar sales were down, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar recorded slight gains by both measures and grew faster. Diet Coke turns 40 this year. Meanwhile, Fanta regained momentum in 2021 after owner Coca-Cola pulled back on flavored soft drinks during the height of the pandemic in 2020 to focus resources on core brands Coke, Diet Coke, and Coca-Cola Zero.
ACROSS-THE-BOARD GROWTH FOR TOP-10 LRB TRADEMARKS. The top-10 US LRB trademarks (ranked by volume) are dominated by carbonated soft drinks, waters, and Gatorade. As shown in Table 3, Nestle Pure Life, which was acquired by BlueTriton brands in early 2021, and Coca-Cola’s Dasani were the only trademarks on the list that posted a decline by either volume or dollars. Dollar sales growth outpaced volume growth for all brands except Nestle Pure Life and Poland Spring, both acquired by BlueTriton.
2021 COCA-COLA AND PEPSICO COMPANY REVENUE. Reported revenues for the North America operations of the top-2 soda companies in 2021 were as follows: Coca-Cola’s North America operating unit generated net revenue of $13.2 billion after increasing by $1.71 bil- lion, for an increase of 13%. Net revenue for PepsiCo Beverages North America grew $2.72 billion, or +12% to $25.3 billion (includes company-owned bottling revenue). During the first quarter of 2022, Coca-Cola North America grew organic revenue by +14.0% as volume rose +5.0%. PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA) grew organic revenue +13.0% as volume grew +3.0%. (Note: Keurig Dr Pepper does not break out North America or US packaged beverage revenue.)
METHODOLOGY. BD’s all-channel data may differ from the companies’ data and is based on the publication’s evaluation, analysis and estimates of available information both publicly and from confidential sources. For reference, click HERE for our 2020 Beverage Value and Volume Analysis.
© 2022 Beverage Digest.
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