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Energy, sports drinks fuel growth

BY Barbara White-Sax

Sales of carbonated beverages remain stagnant, but sales of energy drinks, sports drinks and functional waters have seen gains over the last quarter. Sales of ready-to-drink tea and yogurt drinks and smoothies also are segments showing promise.


Consumers have a bottomless appetite for energy drinks; the segment has had double-digit growth quarter after quarter. Low-calorie options sparked renewed interest in sports drinks.


Such carbonated segments as citrus flavors and diet products show promise. A wide range of sizes also are becoming more prevalent, giving consumers more options.

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Beverages Sell-Through Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Q&A: Man up

BY Barbara White-Sax

Dr Pepper Snapple Group recently manned up behind a campaign supporting their action-adventure diet soda for men: Dr Pepper Ten. Drug Store News tapped Eddie Hicks, VP national accounts, to get the low-down.


DSN: Why men? What is the opportunity? 


Eddie Hicks: Our consumer research showed that men between the ages of 25 and 34 [years] were not completely satisfied by the taste or imagery of diet sodas.

The launch of Dr Pepper TEN represents an opportunity to maintain and grow [carbonated soft drink] occasions with an innovative, new beverage that our male consumers told us they want. The Dr Pepper Ten advertising campaign is a tongue-in-cheek approach aimed at men who want to watch their waistlines but are too “manly” to drink a diet soda.


DSN: What has been the initial feedback? 


Hicks: 

The national launch of Dr Pepper Ten is supported by an integrated marketing campaign, extending the “It’s Not for Women” theme through national television, print and online media. The online portion of the Dr Pepper Ten campaign includes a Dr Pepper Ten Man’ments application where fans can tag their friends who do “un-manly” things on Facebook and a Dr Pepper Ten application where men can be men, and enjoying thinks like a “Man Quiz” and videos that only guys would truly enjoy.

DSN: Dr Pepper Ten folds into the company’s overall health and wellness goals. Can you give a little color around what those health and wellness goals are and how retail pharmacy partners can get involved?

Hicks:
Dr Pepper Snapple Group will continue to provide a full range of products, with at least 50% of innovation projects in the pipeline focused on reducing calories, offering smaller sizes and improving nutrition. DPS will also continue to support local and national programs that encourage active lifestyles and fitness.

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Wilkins’ keys to success with Dollar General

BY Rob Eder

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — To deliver the value of a supercenter with the convenience of a drug store — that is the essence of the Dollar General strategy.


Dollar General VP/DMM consumables and personal care Mike Wilkins told attendees at the Mack Elevation Forum in Nashville, Tenn., on Oct. 11 that the company looks for vendor suppliers who can help leverage Dollar General’s unique assets, including its 1 million Facebook fans and its exclusive Rexall brand. Dollar General also is looking for vendor suppliers that can deliver new insights, bring in new items that can be sold in store or online, and create promotional and celebrity events.


Dollar General’s model flourishes in good and bad economies, Wilkins explained. The chain has seen 22 consecutive years of same-store sales growth. It also has continued to evolve its store formats, both in terms of assortment and overall experience, to keep the model fresh and relevant. In addition, Dollar General has expanded consumables — specifically food, snacks and perishables — as well as HBC and pet supplies, to broaden its appeal beyond fill-in and treasure-hunt shoppers to primary-destination shoppers.


“A share group on steroids” — as described by program founder Dan Mack, EVP strategic business development for The Swanson Group — the Mack Elevation Forum brings together executives from noncompeting, mostly smaller and mid-sized companies, to examine critical business issues and learn from shared experiences, successes and failures. The October meeting focused on three key areas — in addition to the keynote from Wilkins — including understanding the DNA of innovative cultures and teams, how to strengthen business and positioning with Dollar General, and optimizing social media execution.

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