NACS Joins with Leading Health Organizations and Beverage Group

The combined mission is to reduce sugar and calories consumed from beverages purchased at convenience stores.

May 03, 2018

WASHINGTON – NACS, the American Beverage Association (ABA) and two of the nation’s leading health organizations have joined forces today to announce a new collaboration to help people reduce sugar and calories consumed from beverages.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) are facilitating collaboration between ABA and NACS to support their respective existing commitments that help Americans in their efforts to reduce sugar consumed from beverages by providing more beverage choice.

The new agreement was announced at PHA’s 2018 Innovating a Healthier Future Summit in Washington, D.C.

ABA and NACS had previously announced separate commitments to help achieve similar goals. In 2015, ABA announced a Balance Calories Initiative, developed with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, that focuses on reducing beverage calories consumed per person nationally by 20% by 2025.

At PHA’s 2017 Summit, NACS, the association representing the nation’s 154,000-plus convenience stores, announced an association-wide commitment with PHA, becoming PHA’s first retail-association partner. Through its three-year commitment, NACS is relying on PHA’s resources and expertise to help conveniences stores provide more visibility to healthier choices inside their stores, as well as provide promotional materials related to Drink Up, PHA’s marketing campaign to encourage water consumption.

“Convenience stores serve 165 million Americans every day, whether for quick snacks and meals or a variety of beverages. This new agreement will help extend the work we already do with groups like PHA to help make healthy options a convenient choice, whether you’re driving around town or on a summer road trip,” said NACS President & CEO Henry Armour.

Through 2019, ABA and NACS will work together to facilitate conversations between their member companies to test and learn scalable solutions to help achieve their respective goals in the convenience store channel. They also will support their member companies in raising awareness of, and driving consumer interest in, more zero- and reduced-sugar beverage choices. These efforts will be supported in various ways, including through sharing of point-of-sale resources as well as in-store engagement with convenience store consumers.

“By coming together to support one another’s efforts, these two industry associations are showcasing the powerful role the business sector can play to collaboratively support the health of our nation’s children and families,” said Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

“These two industries have seized an opportunity to align and increase availability and awareness of healthier beverage options in convenience stores, which will ultimately provide more choices for consumers on the go,” said Nancy E. Roman, president and CEO of the Partnership for a Healthier America.

Convenience stores are a leading destination for beverages and have a 42.8% market share of all non-alcoholic packaged beverage sales when examining convenience stores, food stores, drug stores and mass merchandise stores (excluding Walmart), according to Nielsen data. Here are other important facts about beverage sales at convenience stores:

  • Low-calorie options are growing in sales in convenience stores: Packaged beverage sales at convenience stores grew 2.3% in 2017, led by the growth of enhanced water (up 9.1%) and ready-to-drink iced teas (up 3.5%). Bottled water sales increased 0.6%.
  • Beverages drive convenience store sales: Nearly half of all convenience store customers (49%) say that their primary reason to go into the convenience store was to purchase a beverage (35% went to purchase food and 17% went inside for another item or service), according to a NACS national consumer survey.
  • Convenience stores are beverage destinations: The 154,948 U.S. convenience stores have 42.8% market share of all packaged beverage sales among food stores, drug stores and mass merchandise stores (excluding Walmart), according to Nielsen data for 2017