US lockdown alcohol sales: the latest trends


  • Wine sales in Nielsen measured off-premise channels grew +14.1% in the most recent week vs. a year ago, but decreased -3.3% vs. the prior week, likely as a result of the shift in Easter timing.
  • At the same time, relative to previous history, the Easter bump last week (+5.3% vs. prior week) was significantly less than the +13% Easter week bump that Nielsen has seen typically in the past four years.
  • Over the Covid-19 period to date since the week ending March 7, 2020, the segments experiencing the largest uptick in growth compared to the full year ending February 29, 2020 have been 1.5 L and 3L boxes, as well as 750 ml bottled wine sold at price tiers $20-$25 and $11-$15.

Examining the very large Direct to Consumer (DtC) wine shipment numbers for March 2020 a bit further (as a result of Nielsen’s new partnership with Wines Vines Analytics in collaboration with Sovos ShipCompliant):

  • Reversing historical trends, volume grew faster than value, as the average price per bottle dropped compared to where it was last March.
  • Within California, there were large double digits increases from Sonoma and Central Coast wines, vs single digit increases from Napa wines. Napa average bottle prices dropped by close to $6 compared to last year.
  • Small wineries (those between 5K and 50K cases annually) experienced the largest increase in both percentage and absolute terms (March 2020 vs. March 2019) compared to both larger and even smaller wineries.

One Response to “US lockdown alcohol sales: the latest trends”

  1. Neil says:

    If the alcohol industry is doing that well how our business is 90% down Crown Liquors

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