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Off-Premise Surge Continues, As Wine, Spirits, And Beer All Accelerate

April 1, 2020

The shift to the off-premise continued in high gear in the week through March 21, as consumers appeared to stock up ahead of stay-at-home orders in many states. In Nielsen channels, total beverage alcohol sales leapt 55% compared with the same week last year, and 28% compared with the previous week. Spirits sales jumped by 75% year-on-year, while wine was up 66%, and beer (including FMBs and cider) rose by 42%.

Tequila led the way within spirits, with a gain of 90% versus the prior year, with gin (+89%) and RTD cocktails (+106%) also showing robust growth. In wine, the $11-$25 table wine segment posted an 82% increase. Larger-format sizes—such as 1.75-liter bottles in spirits and 3-liter and 5-liter boxes in wine—continue to show marked gains. Online alcohol sales also continue to boom, registering a 243% increase year-on-year. The question is to what degree off-premise increases will moderate in the coming weeks now that consumers have stocked up on supplies.—Daniel Marsteller

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