While sales of energy drinks in US convenience stores surged in 2012, the pace of growth has been slowing, says Morgan Stanley.
In a research report on c-stores released on January 11 and based on Nielsen data, it says energy drink sales rose an impressive 16.9% in the year to December 22, 2012 compared with the previous 52 weeks.
However, data from the 12 weeks to Dec 22 showed sales were up a much more modest 12.5% year-on-year (YoY), while sales growth in the four weeks to Dec 22 was slower again at +11.2% YoY.
Red Bull posted the strongest sales growth
Red Bull posted the strongest sales growth in the run-up to Christmas, up 18.1% YoY in the four weeks to Dec 22, only slightly behind its 19.4% YoY growth in the 52 weeks to Dec 22.
However, the pace of growth for Monster decelerated sharply to 10.5% YoY in the four weeks before Christmas compared with an impressive 21.8% YoY rise in the 52 weeks to Dec 22.
Rock Star - which notched up 5.5% growth YoY in the 52 weeks to Dec 22 - also posted a more muted 2.5% rise in sales YoY in the four weeks before Christmas.
Growth in other beverage categories was far less inspiring
Growth in other beverage categories was far less inspiring, meanwhile, with sales of carbonated soft drinks via c-stores (excluding energy drinks) up just 1% and volumes down 3.5% in the four weeks to Dec 22.
Beer sales were up 1.7% over the same period, although volumes were down -1.5%; while salty snacks were up a more respectable 4.6% YoY, with volumes up 3.9%.
As for the biggest winners and losers in the salty snacks aisles, Kellogg (+15.6%), Hain Celestial (+25.2%) and ConAgra (+13.1%) all performed strongly in the four week period YoY, while sales dropped sharply YoY for Kraft Foods (-10.2%) and Diamond Foods (-18.4%).