Nielsen reads: Spirits outpace beer again, soda stays strong and Celsius dominates
Spirits sales continued to outpace beer sales in the U.S. in the latest batch of Nielsen data. The total distilled spirits category saw a 9.0% jump in dollar sale over a 12-week tracking period ending on August 12 and a 8.2% increase over the four-week tracking period. Spirits from Sazerac, Campari (OTCPK:DVCMY), and Constellation Brands (STZ) were outperformers during the period. By category, prepared cocktails (+42% Y/Y), tequila (+8.5%), and bourbon (+7.9%) saw notable growth over the 12-week tracking period as consumers continued to lap up higher prices. Recent consumer surveys have indicated that a higher percentage of consumers under the age of 35 are picking spirits and wine over beer with their alcohol consumption than in years past.
The Nielsen report showed that beer sales were up 2.3% year-over-year over a 12-week tracking period and were 2.4% higher for the 4-week tracking period. On a market share basis, Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) has tallied 39.3% of the sales in the U.S. beer market this year through August 12 vs. 22.% for Constellation Brands (STZ) and 20.6% for Molson Coors (TAP). Heineken (OTCQX:HEINY) trails with 4.1% YTD market share, and Boston Beer (SAM) had 0.5%. Of note, Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) saw a bit of a sequential improvement in dollar sales growth from the last Nielsen report, but sales were still down 11.0% across brands from a year ago, with the Bud Light label seeing a painful 26.4% drop for the most recent tracking period. BUD’s Michelob Ultra outperformed the overall U.S. beer market during the most recent tracking period, while STZ’s Modelo Especial and TAP’s Coor Light continued their big summer runs.
In the soda drink market, Coca-Cola (KO) saw a 11.8% increase in 12-week sales from a year ago, but the 4-week growth mark of 9.0% was an indication of some deceleration. PepsiCo (PEP) soda products saw a 6.3% rise in 12-week sale and 5.0% increase in 4-week sales, while Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) saw a 10.6% increase in 12-week sales and 7.9% gain in 4-week sales.
Celsius Holdings (CELH) once again ripped a huge gain in the energy drink market, with its 12-week sales growth of 162% helping to push its market share to over 8%. Monster Beverage saw a 12-week increase in sales of 12.4% to outpace Red Bull’s 9.4% increase.