2016 Beverage Innovation summit: Have you registered yet?

Diet soda sales plummet further, but what's taking their place?

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

2016 Beverage Innovation summit: Have you registered yet?

Related tags Dollar sales Coffee Coca-cola Soft drink

Bottled water, sparkling flavored water, energy and sports drinks, and ready-to-drink coffee have all made strong gains in the New Year as shoppers have continued to spurn carbonated soft drinks – particularly the diet variety - according to Nielsen data collated by Wells Fargo.

The latest 12-week data (all US retail channels including grocery, drug, mass, and c-stores to January 23, 2016) reveals that dollar sales of low calorie and diet carbonated soft drinks fell 5.3% year-on-year (YoY) while unit sales fell 7.3%.

Diet Pepsi experienced an 8.4% decline in dollar sales and a 9.8% drop in unit sales, while Diet Coke experienced a 4.2% drop in dollar sales and a 5.5% drop in unit sales.

Dollar sales of full-sugar soda were up modestly (+1.5%), although unit sales were down 1.1%, leaving the total carbonated soft drinks category in negative territory, with dollar sales down 0.4% and unit sales down 2.9% YoY.

Dollar sales of refrigerated juice and juice drinks were also fairly lackluster, growing by just 1%, while unit sales were down 0.4%.

Bottled water, sparkling flavored waters and ready-to-drink coffee on fire 

In contrast, dollar sales of bottled water surged 8.9% over the same period (unit sales +9.3%); while dollar sales of ready to drink coffee rose 19.3% (unit sales +15.1%); and dollar sales of sparkling flavored waters were up 16.6% (unit sales +15.7%).

Energy drinks also performed well, with dollar sales up 9.9% and unit sales up 7.8%, driven by strong performances from Monster, Red Bull, and Rockstar said Wells Fargo. Dollar sales of sports drinks, meanwhile, rose 5.7% (unit sales +5.2%).

What’s next? From bone broth to switchel

To explore what this means for the future of the category, and what the potential might be for new beverages from switchel to bone broth, we’ve brought together CEOs from Suja Juice, REBBL, Chameleon ColdBrew, AquaHydrate, Protein2o, Dust Cutter Beverage Co, and Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water at the 2016 Beverage Innovation Summit​ on February 18.

In this free-to-attend​ online event, FoodNavigator-USA and BeverageDaily have also invited market researchers at Euromonitor and Canadean, and an expert from Kroger to give you an insight into which categories are growing and why, and what consumers – and retailers - are really looking for.

EVENT BREAKDOWN (timings are all in Eastern Time):



Whether it’s a new ingredient, novel technology, or different way of looking at established categories, disruptive companies are always thinking outside the box. We’ve gathered together some of the best and brightest CEOs to talk about what they’re doing differently.


2.00pm-2.40pm EST:  KEYNOTE: Jeff Church, CEO, SUJA JUICE

suja probiotics

Suja’s progress has been nothing short of meteoric, generating revenues of $18m in 2013, more than $40m in 2014, and a forecasted $70-80m in 2015. And now it can count Coca-Cola and Goldman Sachs’ merchant banking division as key investors. CEO Jeff Church explains how it all happened so fast, and what’s next for the brand.

2.45pm-3.30pm EST: TREND-WATCHING PANEL: What’s hot, what’s not, what’s next?

Pepsi True and Coca-Cola Life

What are the fastest-growing beverage categories and what consumer trends are successful firms tapping into?  Hear from leading market researchers, a beverage CEO and a leading retailer to find out which beverage categories are growing, what consumers want and how retailers view the category.

  • Hal Kravitz, CEO, AQUAHYDRATE​   
  • Mathis Martines, emerging brands and innovation director, KROGER  
  • Howard Telford, senior beverages analyst, EUROMONITOR INTERNATIONAL​     
  • Tom Vierhile, innovation insights director, CANADEAN CONSUMER​      

REGISTER HERE​ for the event, which is sponsored by  Virun,​ Ingredion​, and Glanbia Nutritionals​,​ and supported by Cargill ViaTech stevia​ and Pizzey Ingredients​. 

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