For the fifth consecutive week ending August 1, off-premise dollar sales growth of beer, flavored malt beverages (FMBs), and cider in convenience stores outpaced sales in larger channels, such as supermarkets, according to Nielsen. The most recent data marks a reversal of early COVID-19 trends when consumers, fearing shortages, stocked up on their favorite from large-format stores.
“Many of our customers are requesting smaller sideload units, like 6.5- and 8.5-bay bodies, for better maneuverability in convenience store parking areas,” says Tom Arland, Mickey President. “In addition, some customers, including Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, and Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP), are using different types of van bodies, or straight trucks, with liftgates for c-store deliveries. Not only do these smaller units improve delivery efficiency to small store formats, the fact that they do not require a CDL license helps address the issue of driver shortages.”
Besides the COVID-19 restrictions imposed on restaurants and bars, the continued popularity of categories such as energy drinks and hard seltzers is also driving deliveries to c-stores, according to Mickey.
“We’re selling a lot of non-CDL 6-bay mini bodies for the energy/secondary brands,” said Todd Holm, Mickey’s Southeast Regional Sales Manager. “They are very easy to maneuver in city locations where space is tight. “Energy brands like Bang, Monster and Red Bull continue to sell well. So are the hard seltzers like Truly and White Claw. And now Coca-Cola jumping in with coffee-flavored sodas.”
“For any type of delivery, innovation will drive the beverage truck market for the foreseeable future, and Mickey will continue to pave the way,” notes Dane Meyer, Mickey’s Southwest/West Sales Manager.
The company noted that KDP is reducing its conventional tractor and trailer fleet in favor of sideload and bulk trailers, and converting to 26-foot non-CDL van bodies with liftgates.
"Wholesalers are looking at non-CDL straight trucks with liftgates, on-board charging systems for electric delivery carts, roof-mounted solar charge systems for gates, and electric pallet delivery devices. Efficiency, productivity and profitability will be the top priorities for companies delivering beverages,” said Dane Meyer, Mickey’s Southwest/West Sales Manager.