Has America really drunk its fill of these 5 beverage stocks?

James Dennin, Kapitall: Comsumption of Coke and other soft-drinks is sagging. What could the future hold for these 5 beverage stocks? 

Coca Cola (KO) announced its earnings this week, which revealed more or less exactly what one would have expected: An increasingly health-savvy country is drinking slightly less Coke.  However, the consumer giant made up for this by selling more of everything else, particularly bottled water. 

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Americans, and the rest of the world, are changing their drinking habits.  Not all of it is making us healthier, though.

A big part of the drop in soda sales in the US has been attributed to the rise of energy and sports drinks like Monster (MNST) or Gatorade (PEP). The market as a whole for energy drinks has grown 5000% in the last 15 years. 

It makes sense that Coca-Cola and Pepsi–originally marketed as medicinal beverages for their eye-opening dose of caffeine–would see the biggest downside as the trend plays out. 

We're also drinking a lot more bourbon and whiskey. There's been a number of noteworthy acquisitions in the spirits industry, most notably Beam (BEAM)'s acquisition by the Japanese spirits-maker Suntori. They were likely motivated by the nearly 20% surge in the market for bourbon outside of the US. 

The activity has a number of important takeaways. For one, it shows the increasing importance of an international foothold for beverage makers as taste varies wildly from country to country. India drinks almost half the world's whiskey, for instance. And the average Latin American drinks almost twice as much Coke as the average European. 

It also affirms skepticism toward the efforts of health advocates like Michael Bloomberg who have made a target of sugary drinks.

The fact that Coke sales seem on a downward trend doesn't really mean Americans have had their fill of sugary, less-than-healthy drinks. We just have a  lot more options. 

Click on the interactive chart to view data over time. 

Are these beverage companies here to stay? Use the list below to begin your analysis. 

1. Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. ( DPS): Engages in the manufacture and distribution of non-alcoholic beverages in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Market cap at $10.32B, most recent closing price at $51.68.

 

 

2. Pepsico, Inc. ( PEP): Engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of foods, snacks, and carbonated and non-carbonated beverages worldwide. Market cap at $120.61B, most recent closing price at $83.96.

 

 

3. Beam, Inc. ( BEAM): Manufactures and sells distilled spirits. Market cap at $13.77B, most recent closing price at $83.30.

 

 

4. The Coca-Cola Company ( KO): Distributes, and markets nonalcoholic beverages worldwide. Market cap at $165.38B, most recent closing price at $37.50.

 

 

5. Monster Beverage Corporation ( MNST): Develops, markets, sells, and distributes alternative beverage category beverages in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $10.78B, most recent closing price at $63.87.

 

(List compiled by James Dennin, a Kapitall Writer. Monthly returns sourced from Zacks Investment Research.)

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