Dairy Drink Category 2020

2020 wasn’t a year of ‘business as usual’ for any of us, but some product categories in the Convenience sector managed to show great strength and resilience throughout. Our data reveals there was certainly no downturn in the Dairy Drink category which performed well and, with the odd exception, saw strong growth rates across the board. Let’s take a look at the all-important figures in a little more detail.

Standard milk drinks up 16%

Standard Milk Drinks, which includes items like ready-to-drink milkshakes, boasts the biggest portion of the market in terms of overall sales value. This area has seen impressive growth rates in the last 52 weeks with Sales up 16% and Customer Count (number of stores buying into the category) up 5% compared with the previous year.

Iced coffee ranges up 27%

Iced Coffee ranges also did well. Performance, here, was up 27% in terms of Sales and 19% in terms of Customer Count. This is particularly impressive when you consider how badly these ranges might have been impacted by the sudden drop-off in commuters heading into their offices every day, grabbing refreshment on the way.

It seems that consumers were still keen to get their regular coffee ‘fix’, even while they were stuck in front of their laptops at home. Maybe that was because a refreshing iced coffee was one of the few habits they were able to keep from their old daily routine that some people were so badly missing.

Plant Based Drinks up 39%

It might still only be a small part of the market, accounting for just 0.7% of overall sales, but we have also seen strong growth with Plant Based Drinks. While Sales saw year-on-year growth of 39%, the Customer Count soared by a phenomenal 577%. So, what’s happening there, you might ask? This could just be a simple case of store owners finally waking up to the huge potential of this category with consumers increasingly looking towards healthier and more environmentally friendly options.

It’s interesting to note that, in terms of brands within this category, there are no big winners at present in terms of sales or volume presence. We can see a clear opportunity here for a serious player to put down a marker and lead this category from the front.

Nourishment Drinks down 19%

It’s easy to explain why Nourishment Drinks had a far tougher year, seeing a fall in sales by 19% from the previous 12 months. The closure of all sporting and gym facilities for much of 2020 will have dramatically reduced purchasing occasions.

As with the closure of gyms, this negative trend is sure to be only temporary. You can expect to see this category rebound with all the energy of a squat thrust as soon as sporting centres re-open again.

However, despite the general trend, a few brands did see some small year-on-year growth. This anomaly looks to have been driven by their inclusion in Lunch Meal Deal offerings by some Symbol store operations.

‘Create your own’ up 85%

Life in lockdown certainly had a positive impact for Milk Flavourings which were up a remarkable 85% year-on-year. This category is traditionally made up of powders and liquids that you add to milk at home to create your own milkshakes, with brand and SKU composition still heavily driven by offerings that focus on the younger demographic.

The notable success of this category is hardly surprising, given that children have been home schooled for so long and would need the occasional sweet treat to keep them going. (In the same category within Foodservice, we saw sales decline of 9% which would further support this theory.)

New flavours emerging

Going back to the Dairy Drink category as a whole, volume sales are still being driven by the more traditional go-to flavours of Chocolate, Strawberry and Banana. While these have enjoyed a successful 12 months, we are seeing the strongest year-on-year growth rates for coffee-based flavourings with Caramel up 45%, Latte up 46% and Macchiato up 63%.

In fact, variations of different of coffee flavours with a Caramel element saw strong growth across the board. Another indication that consumers are still looking to get that premium coffee experience despite not being able to visit their favourite coffee shop as part of their daily commute.

See the trends unfolding

The more insight you have of how things are panning out in Dairy Drink and all the other categories in the FMCG marketplace, the better-informed your decision making will be. This extra knowledge could be particularly important right now as you try to put some robust plans in place with life beginning, we hope, to return to some kind of normal in the coming months.

If you’d like a better understanding of what’s going on out there, OneView from SalesOut can keep you in the know with all the relevant data. Book your free product demo here today.


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