Beverage segment gets some healthy new shots of energy
Energy drink sales still are strong in the drug store channel, but the strong mid-double-digit growth the category enjoyed for several years has flattened as the category has become more mature.
Dollar sales were up 11% in the channel for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 4, according to Information Resources Inc. Red Bull led the nonaseptic segment with a nearly 47% dollar share of the category, followed by Monster’s distant 15% dollar share in the channel.
“Energy drinks have gone beyond fad status to become a bona fide beverage category,” said Gary Hemphill, SVP of Beverage Marketing Corp.’s information services division. Like many other segments in the category, energy drinks have been affected by the economy. “These are premium-priced products, so they have been one of the hardest hit segments in this economy,” said Phil Gorham, a beverage analyst for Morningstar.
Hemphill said that for the category to continue to grow, it has to generate appeal beyond its core consumer group of young men to other demographic groups. “As the category grows, new products are moving into the marketplace that offer a unique point of difference,” he said. “We’re seeing innovation in healthier, organic energy drinks.” Those products might widen the products’ appeal.
“Healthier is absolutely the way the category has to go,” Gorham agreed. “For 10 years, the fastest-growing segments have been healthy beverages.”
To grow the category beyond its core 20-something male base, manufacturers will have to develop new products. “The need for energy is a big one,” Hemphill said. New brands targeted to tired moms or energy-challenged seniors could be the next wave.
Energy shots have become a bigger part of the category. Dollar sales of energy shots were up more than 40% in the drug channel for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 4, according to IRI. The segment was led by Living Essential’s 5-Hour Energy brand, which holds a 76% dollar share of the energy shot business in the channel.
Seeing opportunity, Monster and Rockstar have entered the segment, and Coca-Cola debuted a NOS shot. Dr Pepper Snapple Group is test-marketing a 3-oz. version of Venom. Category leader Red Bull launched a regular and sugar-free shot in June.
Coca-Cola board names new officers
ATLANTA The board of directors of soft drink giant Coca-Cola named two new officers Friday.
Ceree Eberly will be SVP and chief people officer, and Chris Nolan was appointed the roles of VP and treasurer.
Eberly, a 19-year veteran of the company, was recently promoted to chief people officer, with responsibility for leading the company’s global People Function (formerly Human Resources). She succeeds Cynthia McCague, who is retiring from the company after 28 years of service with Coca-Cola.
Prior to assuming the role of chief people officer, Eberly served as group human resources director for Europe. She joined the Company in 1990, serving in staffing, compensation and other important roles, supporting business units around the world.
Meanwhile, Nolan was elected as VP and to the position of treasurer, succeeding David Taggart, who stepped down from the role due to health reasons.
Nolan joined the company in 1992, and served in various roles in corporate auditing and corporate treasury, including his last position as manager, financial risk management & corporate finance.
Eberly’s election is effective April 1, 2010, as she transitions back to the United States, while Nolan’s election is effective immediately.
Costco to resume carrying Coca-Cola products
MILWAUKEE It looks like one of the nation’s largest wholesalers has made up with Coca-Cola following a price war, according to reports.
Coca-Cola spokesman Scott Williamson said Thursday that new Coke products should be sent to Costco stores soon, but did not comment further on the matter.
Last month, the Issaquah, Wash.-based retailer announced that would no longer selling the items because of a pricing disagreement with the manufacturer. The issue was made public when Costco displayed signs in its stores to inform customers of the matter.
The beverage giant’s products include Sprite, Dasani water and Full Throttle energy drinks.