The first six months of 2021 saw total packaged beverage sales tracking at double digit growth across the P&C channel, however when lockdowns started mid-year and then Omicron came late November/December, mobility ceased in the channel and sales spiralled into decline. However despite this, total beverages still grew 3.0 per cent MAT versus YA (IRI Market Edge Data, MAT to 23/1/22, supplied by Bega Dairy & Drinks).
Sharon Winton, Marketing Director at Bega Dairy & Drinks, says the category is set for big growth in 2022 as we get back to -post-Covid normal.
“This is the perfect time to really focus on optimising your beverages category, NPD execution, category visibility and on-shelf availability,” Winton said.
“Flavoured milk is critical to the success of the overall beverages offer as it drives foot traffic into P&C stores.”
“One in five beverage shoppers purchase flavoured milk,” Winton said. “It is the third largest packaged beverages category in terms of value, just behind energy and soft drinks, and has one of the most valuable shoppers with over 55 per cent of all flavoured milk shoppers buying into another profitable category.”
Flavoured milk consists of two key segments – iced coffee (75 per cent of sales) and “rainbow” milk (25 per cent of sales), comprising all other flavoured milks.
Dare is the market leader in iced coffee with 54 per cent share of Convenience sales nationally (AU Convenience, Dollars Share of Total Beverages Milk Beverages Iced Coffee, supplied by Bega Dairy & Drinks).
“Delivering double the velocity of its nearest competitor, Dare is a must have brand to drive category performance,” Winton said.
Dare’s No Sugar Added (NSA) offering addresses the growing better for you trend in beverages and is helping to drive frequency and new shoppers.
“With minimal cross shop to core Dare, Dare NSA brings new shoppers to your store”
Dare Cold Bew Sparkling is also creating interest in the category. Made with 100 per cent Colombian coffee beans, cold brewed with purified water and lightly carbonated, the drink is said to deliver “a smooth tasting, refreshing coffee kick”. Available in 250mL cans in Original Black and Vanilla flavours, Dare Sparkling Cold Brew contains no sugar, no dairy and has just five calories.
Rainbow Milk is a fun and exciting category, as shoppers look for new products and flavour combinations to try and experience, which makes up 25 per cent of all flavoured milk sales, says Winton.
“Chocolate, strawberry and vanilla are the core flavours of this segment however there has been significant uplift in sales in limited edition flavours recently including Blue Heaven, Hokey Pokey and Zooper Dooper adding incremental sales and profitability to the segment over the past 12 months.”
“It is critical that new and limited lines are highlighted on shelf with clear point of sale, availability and excellent store execution, especially in the first 6 weeks of launch.
Dairy Farmers Classic continues to drive growth through a differentiated role in the milk-based beverages category.
Dairy Farmers Classic is one of the leading flavoured milk brands in NSW, QLD, SA and TAS, and its flavour NPD has delivered 16 per cent of NPD value to the flavoured milk category in convenience across the past two years (IRI convenience MAT 9/1/22, supplied by Bega Dairy & Drinks).Further NPD is planned for April and will be supported by with a massive media plan including TV, OOH, P&C screens and social media campaigns.
Classic holds a unique position on freshness and local which will help grow the category -,” Winton said.
Bega Dairy & Drinks has identified three key opportunities in milk-based beverages:
- Give consumers fresh local Aussie owned and made products
- Improve category visibility and profitability
Do the right thing for the long term and support sustainable development “It is extremely important to flavoured milk shoppers that their favourite brand is available, especially at peak sales times of the day [6-10am 12-2pm] with research saying 44 per cent of shoppers are likely to walk away altogether without a purchase if their preferred brand is unavailable in this category and therefore less likely to cross shop into another category,” says Winton.