Despite a plateau’d pace, off-premise (not in bars & restaurants) alcohol sales are continuing a very strong run according to the latest report from Nielsen. The research company reported an increase of 21.2% for the week ending 6.13 over the 2019 numbers.
Spirits were atop the leaderboard at +25.1% growth (+30.5% last week), followed by Wine at +20.1% (+24% last week), and Beer/FMB/cider growth at +20.3% (+22.3% last week).
”As the on-premise space continues to expand openings across the country and we move from restricted living to re-opening, off-premise alcohol sales have experienced a steady slowing of growth since early May,” observed Danny Brager, SVP of Beverage Alcohol at Nielsen.
“That said, we also have seen some recent and interesting trends in the growth of households purchasing items that correlate with celebrations, such as sparkling wine and higher-end wine and spirits. The timing of the spike in the number of households purchasing these celebratory items also coincides with Mother’s Day and college graduations.”
Much of the surging sales were attributed to liquor stores (up 25.4% for the latest 4 weeks over 2019), grocery stores (+14.2%), and club buyers (+17.2%).
Of note, hard seltzer continued a dominant run. Growth for the subsection was steady at 250%. In addition, their category share is strong, above 10%, accounting for 10.4% of total category dollars for the latest week.
This was the first week since the beginning of March that beer/FMB/cider, with the significant tailwinds of hard seltzer, actually grew faster than wine,” noted Danelle Kosmal, VP of Beverage Alcohol at Nielsen.
Likewise, RTD drinks continued to explode onto the scene. Nielsen noted RTD’s consistent growth rates over 80% for eleven consecutive weeks. The report added that over the past six weeks, RTD’s beat both gin and Irish whiskey.