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IRI Numbers Show Off-Premise Growth Accelerating In Mid-April

May 1, 2020

The off-premise surge picked up speed in the four weeks through April 19, according to IRI, with spirits dollar sales jumping nearly 40% compared with the year-earlier period on a volume increase of 35%. Within that performance, whiskies were up 39% by value and 33% by volume, vodka rose 28% by value and 25% by volume, and Tequila jumped 58% and 48% by value and volume respectively.

On the wine side, table wine showed 24% value growth on a 23% volume increase for the four-week period, while sparkling wines were up 32% in both measures.

Meanwhile, e-commerce continues to boom. “We’ve acquired more new consumers in the past six weeks than in the past 16 months in total,” said Drizly CEO Cory Rellas, speaking Wednesday on a webinar hosted by WSWA. He projected that the average retailer on Drizly did around $35,000 in business in April via the delivery platform.

Retail growth continues to play a crucial role in efforts to offset the on-premise shutdown. “We polled our members, and saw a 50% decline in depletions in on-premise accounts in the month of March,” said Dale Stratton, analyst for WSWA’s SipSource. “For April, we expect on-premise sales were down around 95%.” On the brighter side, Stratton pointed out that premiumization is ongoing at retail, with consumers continuing to trade up to higher-priced offerings.—Daniel Marsteller and Shane English

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