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US sports, energry drinks sector growth seen flat

Sports and energy drinks sales could flatline in the US over the next 12 months, according to citing a new survey by AlixPartners.

Whereas The AlixPartners Beverage Industry Review projects that US spending will jump up across a number of non-alcoholic beverage categories such as juices, dairy, coffee and bottled water, it suggests that sales for energy and sports drinks could be slow.

Darren Morrison, vice president of AlixPartners told that 64% of the US consumers surveyed are not planning to change their purchasing habits of sports/energy drinks and that an additional 24% plan to continue purchasing these items on sale or promotion.

The findings come as other market research groups continue to describe energy and sports drinks as one of the most dynamic categories in the US beverage industry. For example, Packaged Facts has just published a report suggesting that despite a slowdown in 2008/2009 energy drinks sales are now taking off again.

The AlixPartners report also said one in three respondents is also looking to reduce their spending on beer over the next year.

Given an estimated market size of USD$101 billion in the US, the firm said this could result in a $1 billion hit to beer sales this year, although the firm noted that craft brews continue to do well – with a 11% sales rise in 2010.

Juices continue to be a growth area for the industry and is a reflection of the emphasis the US consumer is placing on healthy alternatives.

This category received the highest rating for “healthy” of any beverage category in the survey, he said, with 49% of consumers indicating that it was an important purchase attribute.

Morrison said an increase in spirits is a reflection of the US economy beginning to emerge from the recession. Only 11% of US consumers said they planned to reduce their consumption of spirits in 2011, down from the 19% in 2010. – Source: