May 10/Chicago/AlixPartners -- Sports and energy drinks sales could flatten in the U.S. over the next 12 months, according to a new AlixPartners survey.

While The AlixPartners Beverage Industry Review expects U.S. spending to grow across a number of non-alcoholic beverage categories, including juices, dairy, coffee and bottled water, sales for energy and sports drinks could be slow.

In addition to the projected slow-down in energy drink sales, the AlixPartners report finds one in three respondents also looking to reduce spending on beer over the next year. Customers aim to do this by lowering consumption, looking for sales and promotions or trying less-expensive brands.

Considering the U.S. beer market is estimated at $101 billion, this could result in a $1 billion dip in beer sales in 2011, although AlixPartners has noted continued strength among craft brews, which saw sales rise 11% in 2010.

Juices continue to be a growth area for the industry, boosted no doubt at least in part on receiving the highest rating for “healthy” of any beverage category in the survey, with 49% of consumers indicating that it was an important purchase attribute.

While 11% of U.S. consumers planned to reduce their consumption of spirits in 2011, this was down from the 19% in 2010, according to the global business-advisory firm.

This year’s study consisted of a consumer poll conducted in February 2011, with 1,000 U.S. consumers.


From the May 11, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.