Coca-Cola North America’s Brands Show Strong Growth, Led by Coca-Cola Zero Sugar

A special report issued today by industry publication Beverage Digest shows that Americans spent about $5 billion more on nonalcoholic beverages in 2018 as beverage makers like Coca-Cola continued to bring more new products to market and innovate in established core brands.

Per Beverage Digest, carbonated soft drinks (including energy drinks) drove the lion’s share of retail value growth, adding $2.7 billion in retail value to the industry’s overall $140.6 billion in sales last year, the category’s strongest performance since 2005.

Coca-Cola North America’s top brands showed some of the strongest retail sales growth in the report with Brand Coca-Cola (which includes Coca-Cola, Coke Zero Sugar, Coke Life and Diet Coke) growing 3.5%; Brand Sprite (which includes Sprite and Sprite Zero) growing 7.5%; and DASANI water growing nearly 1%.

A core part of Coke’s strategy in North America has been responding to evolving consumer tastes by moving from volume to value as a core metric, fueled by a focus on premium offerings, beverage innovation, and smaller bottles and cans with less sugar and calories per package. Through this strategy, The Coca-Cola Company grew reported revenues in its flagship market 9% last year with value growth across many key brands in its portfolio.                       

For instance, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar was the fastest growing nonalcoholic beverage brand listed in the 2018 Beverage Digest report, growing 14.4% in retail value and 12% in volume.

“This report highlights the continued momentum of our brands in North America, across a wide array of beverage categories, as we expand our total beverage portfolio to meet fast-changing consumer and customer needs,” said Jim Dinkins, president, Coca-Cola North America. “We are building on last year’s momentum with even more exciting innovations for consumers in 2019 such as the recent launches of Coca-Cola Orange Vanilla, smartwarter antioxidant, smartwater alkaline and Sprite Lymonade.”

According to Beverage Digest, in 2018 the U.S. nonalcoholic beverage industry grew at more than twice the rate of 2017. The value of industry retail sales grew 3.6% while volumes were up 2%.

The report includes a category-by-category breakdown of retail revenue growth in 2018. Carbonated soft drinks (+3.3%); water (+6.1%); sports drinks (+3.7%); ready-to-drink teas (+2.4%); and ready-to-drink coffees/dairy-based and other (+3.7%) each reported healthy retail value growth. Only one category –
juice/juice drinks (-0.7%) – posted revenue declines in the channels measured by Beverage Digest.