Diversification at companies like Action Alerts Plus holding Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ) and Monster Beverage Corp. (MNST) have helped the beverage industry grow its top-line through a period of slower growth.
Monster Beverage was able to hold onto its dominant market share even as growth in energy drinks slowed to 4.5% from 5.5% over the four weeks ended Feb. 11, thanks to its Java coffee brand, which grew 30.5% in the four-week period.
"Monster outperformed Red Bull and the industry yet again, outpacing gains by 660bps and 950bps, respectively. Monster and Red Bull combined own 78% share of the energy drink categories measured sales in the U.S. However, since January 2017, Monster's share has increased by +2.5%, while Red Bull's has declined -1.5%," said analysts at Macquarie.
Beer, ale and cider sales across the industry rose 1.5% over the four-week period after rising 3% in the previous 12 weeks. Domestic beer sales were flat after rising 1.5% over the latest 12 weeks, while imported beer sales grew at a 7.5% rate after rising 9.5% for the quarter.
Wine sales held steady while sales of spirits climbed 4% over the four-week period vs. 2.5% growth in the quarter.
Boston Beer Co. (SAM) continued to struggle as its beer business faltered. Overall sales increased 5% for the four-week period thanks to the performance of its Twisted Tea business, which grew 32%. But the company's beer business fell 13% in the four-week period after falling just 3% in the previous four weeks.
The company's Sam Adams brand saw sales decline 30%. And while the seasonal beer brands have previously upheld the companies growth, the company's cider sales fell 4% in the reporting period.
Constellation, on the other hand, has been able to grow its wine and spirits sales amid the downturn in beer sales growth. Overall sales increased 11% from 8.5% in the previous four-week period even though Corona and Corona Light, the company's two largest brands, saw decelerating sales growth.
Offsetting that deceleration was domestic wine sales that grew 2.5% for the four weeks ended Feb. 11 vs. 2% quarterly and spirit sales that grew 5.5% for the four weeks vs. 4.5% quarterly.