July 26/New York/CSP Daily News -- Total carbonated soft drink (CSD) dollar sales in the U.S. convenience store channel rose 2.2% during the four-week period that ended July 6, compared to 4.1% last month, driven by equivalent-unit volume declines of 2.4% and average equivalent price growth of 4.7%, according to a research note by Bonnie Herzog, managing director of beverage, tobacco and convenience store research at Wells Fargo Securities LLC, New York, citing data from Nielsen.

CSDs posted 2.5% dollar sales growth for the past 12 weeks.

The Coca-Cola Co.'s CSD dollar sales were up a "solid" 4% following last month's 4.1% gain, she said, as a result of a 0.3% increase in equivalent-unit volume and 3.7% increase in average equivalent price.

"We are encouraged by brand Coke posting its strongest sales in a year and continued improvements in Diet Coke," said Herzog.

PepsiCo Inc.'s CSD dollar sales increased 0.9% during the month on the back of 6.3% equivalent-unit volume declines and 7.7% average equivalent price growth.

"Consistent with our Beverage Buzz survey, it appears [Coca-Cola] was far more promotional with pricing than [PepsiCo] this period, a strategy that drove its strong dollar sales performance.," she wrote.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. CSD dollar sales increased slightly (0.2%) during the period as a result of equivalent-unit volume declines of 1.9% slightly offset by average equivalent price increases of 2.1%.

PepsiCo posted its largest unit share loss in this channel in over a year, Herzog said, while Coca-Cola gained the most share, she said.

The energy drink category posted 5.8% dollar sales growth in the recent period, compared to 5.7% last month, as equivalent unit sales grew 6.2% with 0.3% price declines.

Monster Energy Co. continues to take volume and value share in the category, led by new product introductions and ongoing strong performance from Zero Ultra, said Herzog. Coca-Cola continued its recent strong performance, posting 12.8% dollar sales growth, led by its NOS energy beverage.

Beer dollar sales in the U.S. c-store channel were up 0.6% during the four-week period. Anheuser-Busch InBev dollar sales remain negative, down 1.1% during the period as a result of an average equivalent. price increase of 2%, which failed to offset equivalent-unit volume decline of 3.1%. MillerCoors' dollar sales declined 2.5% for the month with average pricing growth of 1.7% and average volume declines of 4.1%. Crown Imports saw unit growth of 17.3% with pricing down 1.1%, resulting in total dollar growth of 16.1% and the second consecutive month of dollar share gains. Heineken grew dollar sales by 7.1% while Boston Beer posted solid 8.8% dollar sales growth, Herzog wrote.