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US drinks retail booms as buyers stock up

Drinks sales in the US retail have spiked across the board according to the latest figures from Nielsen as consumers stock up on wine, Tequila and craft beer.

By the week ending 14 March 2020, sales of wine in US off-premise stores was up 27.6%, spirits 26.4% and beer and cider 14% versus the same week in 2019.

Large pack sales have proved especially popular with three-litre boxes of wines seeing sales rise 53% versus the same period last year, while 24-packs of beer are up 24%.

Danelle Kosmal, vice-president of Beverage Alcohol at Nielsen, said: “While Beverage Alcohol categories are all experiencing double digit growth, they lag [behind] growth rates for total consumer goods.

“For the week ending 14 March, when many consumers were stocking up on perishables, cleaning products and toilet paper, total consumer goods grew by 40% in Nielsen all US outlet channels. To me, this is an indication that Beverage Alcohol is important to consumers, but other consumer goods categories are being prioritised, at least for now.

“As more and more on-premise locations close, I think we will continue to see off-premise sales for beer, wine and spirits grow even more, and closing the gap with other consumer goods.”

Wine and spirit sales have seen especially strong growth though this was also put down to their relative size compared to beer which is a much bigger, stronger category.

Among beer, craft and independent breweries have seen a big jump in sales but non-alcoholic beers have also seen sales rise 48%.

In the spirits category, gin, Tequila and prepared cocktails saw the biggest growth but grain alcohol has risen strongly, possibly with customers aiming to make their own hand sanitiser with.

For wine canned wines (from a small base) have seen a 95% uplift in sales and bottled table wine through all price tiers have seen double-digit growth.

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