5/15/2019, 5:00 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

New York, May 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NEW YORK, NY, 15 May 2019:  The U.S. liquid refreshment beverage market grew again in 2018, with retail sales increasing by 3.8% and volume by 2.2%, according to newly released preliminary data from Beverage Marketing Corporation. By both measures, the market grew faster than it had the year before. Specifically beverage-related factors, such as the enduring robustness of the sizeable bottled water segment, as well as more general ones, such as continuing economic growth, contributed to the overall increase in liquid refreshment beverage volume, which neared 33.9 billion gallons in 2018. In terms of retail sales, the market approached $180 billion, propelled both by the fast growth of small, niche segments as well as solid growth by bigger, established categories, including carbonated soft drinks. All but one segment of the liquid refreshment beverage market enlarged retail sales in 2018, with ready-to-drink coffee and tea, bottled water (conventional and value-added), energy drinks, sports drinks and carbonated soft drinks showing growth, and only fruit beverages declining.



Bottled water, which surpassed carbonated soft drinks to become the number-one beverage by volume in 2016, grew again in 2018 but at slower rates than in prior years. The category’s essential qualities – healthful, natural, calorie-free and convenient – reliably appeal to U.S. consumers. Volume enlarged by almost 5% and retail sales advanced by more than 7%.


While smaller in retail size, niche segments once again outperformed most traditional mass-market ones. With regards to both volume and dollars, value-added water, energy drinks and ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee in particular moved forcefully in 2018. Indeed, value-added water outshined all other segments with a 15.5% increase in volume and a 16.6% increase in retail dollars. No other segment saw double-digit growth rates in either volume or dollars, but energy drinks and RTD coffee moved up with rates in the high single digits. Fruit beverages, in contrast, experienced contraction in both volume and dollars. Carbonated soft drinks’ retail dollar sales grew by 2.4% even as volume declined slightly as beverage companies continued to downsize packages and introduce more no-sugar offerings in response to consumers’ desire for less sugar.


Despite their growth, no energy drink, RTD coffee or value-added water brand ranked among the leading trademarks by volume. (No fruit beverage brand did either.)


Sports beverages, on the other hand, had Gatorade (including all brand variations) as the fifth largest liquid refreshment beverage trademark during the year with volume greater than 1 billion gallons.


Carbonated soft drinks continued to account for four of the five top beverage brands by volume. The rate of retail sales growth for carbonated soft drinks doubled from the prior year (up by 2.4% in 2018 compared to 1.2% in 2017) as pricing rose. Carbonated soft drink volume performance was essentially flat at 12.2 billion gallons – the category’s best performance since 2005. Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola retained their usual first and second positions among the 10 leading beverage trademarks in 2018, with Mountain Dew and Dr Pepper claiming third and fourth place. Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper both recorded modest volume growth during the year, while Sprite (ranked seventh) grew relatively quickly.


Bottled water had four entries among the leading trademarks in 2018, but only two of them grew, and they did so at rates slower than the overall liquid refreshment beverage category.


Four companies accounted for all of the leading refreshment beverage trademarks. PepsiCo had four brands. Coca-Cola had three while Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) had two and the company that became Keurig Dr Pepper during the year had one. 


“The beverage market’s accelerating growth in both volume and retail sales is a noteworthy development in a rapidly changing industry,” said Michael C. Bellas, chairman and CEO, Beverage Marketing Corporation. “The varied performance of the diverse segments, and the rapid growth of newer ones, is indicative of ongoing changes and beverage companies’ adept responses to consumer demands.”


New York City-based Beverage Marketing Corporation is the leading consulting, research and advisory services firm dedicated to the global beverage industry.



2008 2018
  Millions of Millions of Dollar Volume
Year Dollars Gallons % Change % Change
2008 $148,361.6 29,873.3 -- --
2009 143,542.5 29,069.0 -3.2% -2.7%
2010 145,751.3 29,462.5 1.5% 1.4%
2011 149,970.2 29,676.3 2.9% 0.7%
2012 153,288.1 30,042.6 2.2% 1.2%
2013 153,380.0 30,020.1 0.1% -0.1%
2014 157,610.3 30,671.5 2.8% 2.2%
2015 163,956.8 31,514.7 4.0% 2.7%
2016 169,257.0 32,553.6 3.2% 3.3%
2017 173,268.4 33,154.5 2.4% 1.8%
2018 179,931.2 33,871.9 3.8% 2.2%
Source:  Beverage Marketing Corporation


Volume, Change and Market Share
2017 2018
    2018 Millions of Gallons % Change Share of Volume
Trademark Company Rank 2017 2018 2017/18 2017 2018
Coke Coca-Cola 1 3,918.5 3,933.9 0.4% 11.8% 11.6%
Pepsi PepsiCo 2 1,770.7 1,710.6 -3.4% 5.3% 5.0%
Mountain Dew PepsiCo 3 1,281.8 1,250.1 -2.5% 3.9% 3.7%
Dr Pepper Keurig Dr Pepper 4 1,173.5 1,175.0 0.1% 3.5% 3.5%
Gatorade** PepsiCo 5 1,050.3 1,058.9 0.8% 3.2% 3.1%
Nestlé Pure Life NWNA 6 1,112.6 1,033.4 -7.1% 3.4% 3.1%
Sprite Coca-Cola 7 931.5 958.4 2.9% 2.8% 2.8%
Poland Spring NWNA 8 857.8 866.6 1.0% 2.6% 2.6%
Dasani Coca-Cola 9 729.7 734.1 0.6% 2.2% 2.2%
Aquafina PepsiCo 10 598.7 596.5 -0.4% 1.8% 1.8%
  Subtotal     13,425.0 13,320.4 -0.8% 40.5% 39.3%
All Others     19,729.5 20,552.9 4.2% 59.5% 60.7%
  TOTAL     33,154.5 33,873.3 2.2% 100.0% 100.0%

* Includes all trademark volume (e.g., all types of Coca-Cola, including Diet Coke, et al.; all types of Pepsi, including Diet Pepsi, etc.; and so on).
** Includes G2.
Source:  Beverage Marketing Corporation


2017 – 2018
  % Change
Segments Volume Retail Dollars
Value-Added Water 15.5% 16.6%
Energy Drinks 8.6% 8.4%
Ready-to-Drink Coffee 8.8% 7.9%
Bottled Water 4.9% 7.3%
Sports Drinks 2.8% 4.9%
Ready-to-Drink Tea -0.3% 2.7%
Carbonated Soft Drinks -0.4% 2.4%
Fruit Beverages -3.0% -1.2%
  TOTAL LRB 2.2% 3.8%
Source:  Beverage Marketing Corporation
Gary A. Hemphill
Beverage Marketing Corporation

Copyright GlobeNewswire, Inc. 2016. All rights reserved.
You can register yourself on the website to receive press releases directly via e-mail to your own e-mail account.