Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

Retail Alcohol Sales Dip, But Remain At Robust Levels

April 1, 2021

Total alcohol dollar sales in Nielsen channels were down 20% in the week through March 20, as they lapped a year-earlier period in which consumers locked down and stocked up their pantries. Still, dollar sales remain 23% higher than they were in the same week in 2019. Compared with two years ago, off-premise spirits sales are up 39%, and wine and beer/FMB/cider are each up 18%.

Even compared with last year’s pantry-loading period, RTD cocktails (+134%), Cognac (+19%), and Tequila (+3.5%) showing increases, as are canned wines (+25%) and Tetra Paks (+2.7%). Sparkling wines (-0.9%) managed to hold roughly steady with last year in the week through March 20. Hard seltzer also held its ground in relation to last year, increasing 1%.—Daniel Marsteller

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