Sales to stagnate for US energy drinks, survey

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Alcoholic beverage, Us

Sports and energy drinks sales could flatline in the US over the next 12 months, according to a new survey by AlixPartners.

WhereasThe AlixPartners Beverage Industry Review​ projects that US spending will jump up across a number of non-alcoholic beverage categories such as juices, dairy, coffee and bottled water, it suggests that sales for energy and sports drinks could be slow.

64 per cent of the US consumers surveyed are not planning to change their purchasing habits of sports/energy drinks and that an additional 24 per cent plan to continue purchasing these items on sale or promotion, Darren Morrison, vice president of AlixPartners told BeverageDaily.com.

The findings come as other market research groups continue to describe energy and sports drinks as one of the most dynamic categories in the US beverage industry. For example, Packaged Facts has just published a report suggesting that despite a slowdown in 2008/2009 energy drinks sales are now taking off again. Click here​ to read about the report.

Beer sales slow-down

As well as a projected slow-down in energy drink sales, the AlixPartners report said that one in three respondents is also looking to reduce their spending on beer over the next year.

Customers aim to do this by lowering consumption, looking for sales and promotions or trying less-expensive brands, said Morrison.

Given an estimated market size of $101bn in the US, the firm said this could result in a $1bn hit to beer sales this year, although the firm noted that craft brews continue to do well – with a 11 per cent sales rise in 2010.

Jump in demand for spirits and juice

Juices continue to be a growth area for the industry and is a reflection of the emphasis the US consumer is placing on healthy alternatives, said Morrison.

This category received the highest rating for “healthy” of any beverage category in the survey, he said, with 49 per cent of consumers indicating that it was an important purchase attribute.

Morrison said an increase in spirits is a reflection of the US economy beginning to emerge from the recession.

This will be driven by on-premise consumption in bars and restaurants, a channel that was significantly impacted as budget-conscious consumers reduced spending in response to the overall economic condition,​he said.

In addition, only 11 per cent of US consumers said they planned to reduce their consumption of spirits in 2011, down from the 19 per cent in 2010, according to the global business-advisory firm.

AlixPartners’ beverage industry review aims to anticipate buying behaviour and the drivers of beverage choice in both the non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverage categories.

This year’s study consisted of a consumer poll conducted in February 2011, with 1,000 US consumers.

Related topics: Energy & Sports, Markets, Ingredients

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