While the price per volume of many ‘center of store’ food products rose in 2012, the average price per volume for energy drinks dropped 7.6% in 2012 vs 2011 across all grocery channels, according to Symphony IRI.
At the same time, unit sales of energy drinks rose 18.7% and dollar sales grew by 17.2%, far outstripping the overall CPG market, in which volumes were flat (-0.3%), and dollar sales rose 3.4%, said Symphony IRI Times & Trends editor Susan Viamari.
Speaking at a webinar on center of store categories earlier this week, Viamari said the drop in price per volume for energy drinks could be attributed to the growing popularity of larger pack sizes and expanding distribution to channels targeting value-conscious consumers.
It was not a result of heavy discounting, however, as levels of promotional activity for energy drinks actually dropping slightly over the period, she said.
Space allocation dropped 2.4% for frozen foods in 2012 vs 2010
In most other center of store categories, however, average price per volume rose sharply as higher input costs filtered through to finished products, with big rises in coffee (+17.7%), baby formula (+12.1%), nuts (+13.2%), chocolate candy, and cookies (both +6.6%).
Yet while promotional activity on coffee went up, it calmed down on most other center of store products as firms “tried to step away from promotions”, especially in salty snacks, cold cereals and carbonated beverages, said Viamari.
As for space allocation in the grocery channel, it dropped 2.4% for frozen food in 2012 vs 2010 and rose 1.3% for dairy, she revealed.
Volumes up for RTD coffee & tea, crackers, snack/granola bars, and vitamins; down for cold cereal, fresh bread & rolls, chocolate candy, and salty snacks
While unit sales of most ‘center of store’ categories declined in 2012, volumes of energy drinks, bottled water and coffee surged 18.7%, 4.6% and 4.5% respectively.
2012 was also a good year for unit sales of weight management products (up 15.1%); ready to drink coffee and tea (up 7.8%); crackers (up 5.1%); snack/granola bars (up 4.3%); and vitamins (up 4.5%).
Meanwhile, unit sales of cold cereal; fresh bread & rolls; chocolate candy; and salty snacks declined 3%, 3.3%, 3.7% and 0.6% respectively in 2012.
Convenience was also the only channel to demonstrate volume growth, seeing a 2.6% rise in unit sales in the 52 weeks to Sept 9, 2012 compared with a 2.5% decline in the drug channel and a 2.7% decline in the food channel.
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