Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

Off-Premise Growth Decelerates But Remains Strong

April 8, 2020

As expected, off-premise beverage alcohol sales saw a deceleration in the week through March 28, according to Nielsen, although they continued to show double-digit increases compared with the prior year. Overall, beverage alcohol sales advanced by 22% in Nielsen channels during the week through March 28, with 27% growth for both wine and spirits and a 17% bump for beer, cider, and flavored malt beverages. The previous week, Nielsen data showed total beverage alcohol sales leaping by 55% year-on-year, with spirits up 75%, wine up 66%, and beer up 42%.

Within wine, the 3-liter box segment continued to soar, with sales up 80%, while the $11-$25 retail tier outpaced lower-priced segments (although all levels were up by double-digits). Spirits growth was led by the ready-to-drink (+72%) and Tequila categories (+45%), while cordials, gin, and American and Irish whiskies saw gains in the 30%-40% range. Scotch, however, did not grow compared with the prior year, the only segment not to do so. Nielsen’s data also shows consumers skewing to trusted brands, with the top 10 spirits picking up an additional 1.3 share points for the week.

Meanwhile, delivery provider Drizly says it’s continuing to see surging sales. “Drizly has continued to see its biggest day in sales ever on each Friday since March 20,” the company noted. “To a very large extent, this has been driven by new customers who have accounted for approximately 40% of orders (this is usually closer to 15%). New buyer sales, specifically, were up 1200% over baseline this past week.” Overall, beverage alcohol e-commerce sales jumped by 291% in the week through March 28, according to Nielsen.—Daniel Marsteller

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