Late Year Slump Hits National Beverage Hard. KDP, SBUX, KO Gain. PEP, MNST Down
January 18, 2019
Beverage company share prices tracked by BD were generally weak in 2018 thanks to sluggish U.S. markets and a December decline that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed almost 2500 points. The market has since regained some of those losses. Bright spots for 2018 were Keurig Dr Pepper, Starbucks and the U.S.-traded shares of Coca-Cola European Partners.
During an investor update Thursday, Monster Beverages said it would launch a new performance energy drink called Reign Total Body Fuel in March with six flavors. The brand would compete with fast-growing Bang Energy Drink. A new Dragon Tea energy offering also is planned. Plus, Monster said arbitration over Coke’s plan to launch a Coke-branded energy drink overseas is “moving expeditiously” and that “we are in the process of amicably resolving this disagreement.” An update is expected in the second quarter, he added.
Volume sales in Brazil improved for both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo during the third quarter as the country’s economy also showed signs of improvement. As the table below shows, PepsiCo’s Brazil volume fell only slightly after two quarters of double-digit percentage declines. Coca-Cola’s volume jumped +3% following a second- quarter decline. Coke posted total global volume growth of +2%, while PepsiCo posted a +2.5% gain.
The table at right shows volume and dollar sales as well as pricing for selected non-carbonated beverage categories at U.S. retail for the first nine months of 2018. The data covers supermarkets, c-stores, drug chains, mass merchandisers including Walmart, plus some dollar/club stores and the military channel. Pricing grew in all five non-carb categories tracked by BD, with ready-to-drink tea increasing most. Bottled water pricing grew only slightly. Bottled water, sports drinks and
Pricing for the carbonated soft drink category (excluding energy) grew 2% during the first nine months of this year, according to quarterly data tracked by BD. That was an acceleration over the +1.3% gain achieved during the first half of the year (not in table). Coke, PepsiCo and Keurig Dr Pepper all boosted pricing, with Coke outperforming the category (table below). Private label pricing fell