A comical line in the digital animation film “The Lorax” quips that if you put something in a plastic bottle, people will buy it. Although the joke is meant as a mockery of selling bottled air, many beverage categories have emerged in bottles in the last couple of years.
One of the industry’s larger success stories has been energy shots. With market leader 5-Hour Energy along with growing brands such as Stacker2 6 Hour Power, this bottled category has found its place in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) market.
Although energy shots have had their fair share of success, it is their category counterpart that showed the most growth in Chicago-based SymphonyIRI Group’s Times & Trends report titled “CPG 2011 Year in Review: The Search for Footing in an Evolving Marketplace.”
Among beverage categories, energy drinks was the fastest-growing CPG category increasing 17.6 percent based on unit sales percentage change for 2011 vs. 2010 in grocery, drug and convenience stores and mass merchandisers, excluding Walmart. Energy drinks trailed only weight control nutrition, liquid and powder categories, according to SymphonyIRI.
In fact, beverages accounted for five of the Top 10 fastest-growing CPG categories with sports drinks at 11.3 percent, wine at 6.4 percent, ready-to-drink coffee and tea at 5.5 percent, and spirits and liquor at 5.2 percent increases.
Beverage unit sales as a whole grew 2 percent in 2011 across all SymphonyIRI measured channels compared to the overall CPG industry, which was nearly 1 percent, according to the market research firm. Among the standout channels for beverages, drug stores experienced an 8 percent increase for the year in beverage unit sales.
It looks like “The Lorax” might be right: If you bottle it, people will buy it.