Sales of Tequila and ready-to-drink beverages are driving the rise in alcohol sales in the US during the country’s coronavirus lockdown, according to new figures.
Data from market researcher Nielsen has shown that spirits sales are growing faster than any other category, rising by just over a third (33.5%) between 7 March and 25 April.
Tequila growth has been consistently on the rise, at 55% for the latest 8-week period and 69% for the latest one-week period, as shoppers prepared to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at home. RTD sales, meanwhile are “almost double” what they were this time last year.
Wine sales have also risen sharply, with a boost of 29.4%, while beer sales have seen much slower growth at 11.8%.
Overall, alcohol sales “continue to outpace those for total consumer packaged goods”, Danny Brager, Nielsen’s vice president for alcohol, said, with sales rising close to a quarter (26.4%) in the past eight weeks.
Hard seltzers continue to be the primary growth driver, accounting for US$77 million in off-premise sales, and rose 324% in the week to 25 April compared to the same week last year. The week before the Super Bowl (i.e. the week ending 1 February), US retailers sold around half of that, recording $38 million in sales.
For the week ending 25 April, hard seltzers now account for 8.4% of category dollars, up 0.4 points from the week before.
Brager said: “Off-premise alcohol gains continue to outpace those for total consumer packaged goods,” adding that e-commerce is a big factor in this.
“Over the past 4 weeks through the week ending April 25, 2020, online sales are up between five and six-fold compared to the same periods one year prior.
“Largely, this relates to a huge increase in the number of buyers going online to buy, with a secondary increase related to more items purchased per order.”
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