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Spirits Led The Off-Premise Growth In Mid-April, With Wine And Beer Still in Double-Digit Mode

April 29, 2020

Distilled spirits drove off-premise gains in the week through April 18, according to Nielsen, as wine and beer decelerated slightly but stayed in double-digit growth territory year-on-year. Overall, beverage alcohol sales in Nielsen channels were up 15.9% compared with the same week in 2019, while slipping 0.6% from the previous week.

Spirits continued to shine in the week through April 18, advancing by 27.4% year-on-year and by 3.2% from the previous week. RTD cocktails, Tequila, and gin were strong performers, along with cordials and American whiskey, as Cognac continued to accelerate and premiumize. Wine sales were up 14.1% year-on-year while falling 3.3% from the previous week, when they enjoyed a boost ahead of the Easter holiday. Wine consumers are gravitating to 1.5-liter and 3-liter boxed offerings as well as 750-ml. bottles in the $11-$25 range, Nielsen said.

In the March 7-April 18 period, total beverage alcohol sales rose by 24.4% from the previous year, with spirits up 32.7%, wine rising by 29.4%, and beer-cider-FMBs increasing by 18.9%.

As for the e-commerce space, wine remains the largest beverage alcohol player in e-commerce with a 70% share, according to Nielsen, although spirits have been rapidly expanding. From March 7-April 18, total alcohol sales in e-commerce channels soared by 234% from a year ago, and increased more than fivefold in the most recent two weeks.—Daniel Marsteller

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