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Spirits Growth Tapers Off-Premise, As On-Premise Slowly Returns

September 24, 2020

Off-premise spirits volumes in Nielsen channels decelerated slightly to 25% value growth and 18% volume growth in the 4-week period ending September 5. The off-premise has cooled somewhat as pandemic restrictions have gradually been lifted across the country, while bars and restaurants have started to gain some traction. In the average U.S. on-premise outlet, total alcohol sales increased 240% for the week ending September 5 compared with March 28, when the on-premise shutdown commenced, according to Nielsen.

The fastest-growing major categories the past 13 weeks in value terms were prepared cocktails (+90%), Tequila (+63%), Cognac (+61.5%), cordials/liqueurs (+34%), and flavored whiskies (+42%). Total spirits volume rose 16% in Nielsen channels over the past 52 weeks, compared to 3% growth in calendar 2019. Ultra-premium spirits (averaging $39.41 a 750-ml.) continue to outperform, with dollars surging 54% over the past quarter.

Among the top 20 largest-selling spirits brands in IRI channels, Patron (+47%), Hennessy VS (+35%), Malibu (+34%), and Crown Royal Regal Apple (+33%) were the fastest growers in dollar terms in the 12 weeks through September 6.—Juan Banaag

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