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Off-Premise Surge Continues, With Wine And Spirits Both Up More Than 30%

April 15, 2020

Off-premise sales more than kept up their momentum in the week through April 4, even following several weeks in which consumers appeared to have stocked up on supplies. Dollar sales for wine grew by 32% versus the same week a year ago in Nielsen-measured channels, and advanced by 3% compared with the previous week. Spirits showed a 33% bump year-on-year, and also bested their performance from the previous week, rising 6%.

Wines in the $11-$25 price bracket continued to outpace lower-priced bottles in Nielsen channels in the week through April 4, with domestics and imports showing equal growth. Taking into account e-commerce and direct-to-consumer channels, Nielsen said wine’s dollar sales grew by just over 30% in March year-on-year, adding that the surge was “likely enough to offset the on-premise declines to date.”

Meanwhile, ready-to-drink cocktails, Tequila, and American whiskey drove off-premise spirits growth over the past week, with canned cocktails and 1.75-liter bottles especially strong. Spirits sales were up 33% year-on-year from March 7 through April 4. Importantly, premiumization appears to be continuing despite the pandemic. “Since the beginning of March, higher-end premium and ultra-premium spirit segments have continued to grow at rates well above mid-priced and value segments—though again all were up double digits,” Nielsen noted.—Daniel Marsteller

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