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Wine And Spirits Retail Growth Stays Strong, As Hard Seltzer Surges

June 4, 2020

The wine and spirits categories both maintained their rapid pace in off-premise outlets in the week through May 23, with wine’s dollar sales increasing 27% and spirits jumping 33%, according to Nielsen. Beer, cider, and FMBs advanced by 21%, with hard seltzer driving growth and achieving a 10% value share of the category.

Sparkling wines registered a 36% increase in the most recent week, outpacing the 24% growth of table wines. “Wine case sales are way up,” says Jennifer Williams, owner of Weiland’s Market in Columbus, Ohio. “Everything in wine is selling, including high-end sparkling wine. They’re making stay-at-home dinners more special. Red blends are very popular, and people are buying wines for cocktails, including Sherry and Madeira.” Overall, wine sales in Nielsen channels were up 31% year-on-year in the 12 weeks from March 7 through May 23.

Spirits continue to be driven by RTD cocktails, Tequila, and cordials in Nielsen channels. Larger formats remain an important part of the mix. “We’re selling tons of 1.75-liters, especially Tito’s ($36), Svedka ($21), Jack Daniel’s ($49), Jim Beam ($35), Captain Morgan ($30), and Johnnie Walker Black ($78),” says Beth Freyvogel, general manager and co-owner of Arrow Wine & Spirits, in Dayton, Ohio. Nationally, spirits sales grew by 36% in the 12 weeks through May 23.

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