With many dairies also bottling teas, juices, lemonades and coffee-based drinks, it’s important for dairy processors to keep an eye on what’s new and trending in these nondairy beverage categories.

Sales were up for many of these categories, including refrigerated teas and coffee, refrigerated juices and drinks, and canned and bottled teas, as they look to compete with milk for a “share of the stomach.” The lemonade segment also showed real promise, while orange juice sales struggled.

Refrigerated juices/drinks — a $6.7 billion category — saw dollar sales increase 1.7%, and unit sales increase 1.5%, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI), Chicago, for the 52 weeks ended Feb. 21, 2016. This category included these segments, with many seeing dollar and unit sales ticking up:

  • The refrigerated orange juice segment saw declines. Dollar sales dropped 3.1% to $3.2 billion, and unit sales fell 3.4%.
  • The refrigerated fruit drink segment’s dollar sales jumped 7.1% to $1 billion, and unit sales increased 4.3%. 
  • In the refrigerated juice and drink smoothies segment dollar sales were up 7.6% to $903.8 million and unit sales improved 8.3%.
  • The refrigerated lemonade segment’s dollar sales increased 10.9% to $639.5 million, while unit sales jumped 11.3%.

The tea/coffee ready-to-drink category registered impressive gains.  Dollar sales jumped 12.9% to $5.2 billion and unit sales increased 10.3% to 2.6 billion. Both the category’s segments — canned and bottled tea and cappuccino/iced coffee (which includes some dairy-based drinks) — saw promising sales numbers. The $3.4 billion canned and bottled tea segment’s dollar sales improved 9.4%, and unit sales increased 7.7%.

The refrigerated teas/coffee category also saw impressive numbers — dollar sales rose 12.4% to $1.3 billion, and unit sales were up 9.4% to 581 million. The refrigerated teas segment dominated this category with $1.1 billion — dollar sales jumped 12.3% and unit sales increased 9.5%.