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NATIONAL REPORT — Consumers are increasingly turning to convenience stores when they want to purchase a packaged beverage, according to new data and analysis provided to Convenience Store News from Nielsen.
"Consumers continue to vote with their wallet and convenience is winning," said Todd Hale, former senior vice president, consumer and shopper insights with Nielsen.
Dollar sales of packaged beverages topped $16.7 billion in supermarkets, drugstores, mass merchandisers and warehouse club stores during the 52-week period that ended April 11, 2015, although sales fell 1 percent from the previous year. At the same time, dollar sales within c-stores grew at a faster rate (3.3 percent) and reached $14.2 billion.
Beverage segments driving the strongest growth inside c-stores included enhanced water (up 8.1 percent), ready-to-drink iced tea (7.3 percent) and alternative beverages (6.4 percent). In comparison, the fastest-growing segments in the other retail channels were ready-to-drink iced tea (up 3.2 percent), alternative beverages (3.2 percent) and bottled water (2.8 percent).