Nielsen’s Friday morning data shows that over $16.6 billion in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) were sold across U.S. stores during the week of Independence Day. While dollar sales are up 2% compared to last year’s figures, unit volume is relatively flat, increasing by just 0.2%.
Inflation continues to affect the market, with average prices rising along with the heat. In fact, the week of the Fourth of July saw the highest average prices year-to-date for as many as 127 Nielsen-tracked categories. As inflationary growth lingers, balancing price and promotion tactics will remain important tools for retailers and manufacturers.
Despite high prices, consumers are seeking cool treats to keep cool throughout the summer. Ice cream and beverage sales both climbed over the Fourth of July holiday, as shoppers sought relief from record high temperatures.
We All Scream For Ice Cream
When it comes to beating the heat, ice cream is one of Americans favorite treats. As of the end of June, annual ice cream category sales hit $6.2 billion*, up 2.2% from last year. And with July National Ice Cream Month, sales are continuing to climb. Ice cream sales reached over $152 million this week, up nearly 1% in dollars and 3% in units. Unilever, private-label products and Nestle are the biggest ice cream manufacturers and together represent more than 57% of ice cream dollars sold this week.
So what types of ice cream are consumers buying? Traditional ice cream is still a clear favorite, lead the week with nearly $127 million. However, non-dairy ice cream saw the most growth, up 33% compared to last year with overall sales of over $6 million. When it comes to flavors, only butter pecan and mint chocolate chip were able to see dollar and unit growth this week compared to figures from the same time last year among the top 10 types of traditional ice cream.
SALES HEAT UP FOR COOL BEVERAGES
Cool drinks are also popular with shoppers as temperatures rise. Beverages led all other super categories this week, reaching sales of nearly $1.3 billion, up $63 million from this time last year. The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo and private-label products were among the top three earners, reaching sales over $300 million, $256 million and $144 million, respectively, this week.
This data for this article was made possible by Nielsen Friday morning data delivery, the earliest FMCG market read available. Learn more about Friday morning data delivery.
*Ice cream sales represent the 52 weeks ending June 30, 2018, and exclude convenience store sales.