Christmas season, the peak of OND, is normally peak season for the beverage industry. Of course, there was nothing normal about 2020. This week, several tracking numbers confirmed that Christmas 2020 presented sales drops across several industry sectors.
The folks over at Nielsen reported that previously strong sales actually slowed down during December. Sensormatic Solutions detailed a one third drop in all retail store traffic. And, BeerBoard logged a terrible season for on-premise.
The US Nielsens for the four weeks ending on December 16 showed across the board drops in sales compared to the previous four weeks (but up compared to last year). Spirits clocked a +13% compared to +18.1% over the last four weeks, beer was +3.7% vs +8.4% and Wine +37.8% vs +46.4%. Of course, Hard Seltzer continued to rampage at vols/value +80.8%/+82.9% a dip from November’s +96.8%/+98.3%.
Analysts noted that retailers restocking in January holds the potential for a rebound. The experts also noted that the entire sector should expect shifts as the vaccine rolls out.
Brick n’ Mortar tracking experts Sensormatic Solutions outlined a 33.1% drop in retail traffic during the six week holiday season. The actual numbers landed about 9% above the analysts’ predicted drop.
Sensormatic ranked the seasons busiest days as follows: 1. Friday, November 27 – Black Friday; 2. Saturday, December 19 – Super Saturday; 3. Saturday, December 26 – Day after Christmas, also known as Boxing Day; 4. Saturday, December 12 – Second Saturday in December; 5. Wednesday, December 23 – Wednesday before Christmas; 6. Saturday, November 28 – Saturday after Thanksgiving; 7. Tuesday, December 22 – Tuesday before Christmas; 8. Monday, December 21 – Monday before Christmas; and 9. Saturday, December 5 – First Saturday in December.
BeerNet’s BeerBoard also painted a gloomy picture for on-premises. Tracking ten states, the service reported an 80% open rate for the final week of December, the lowest numbers since mid-June and the fifth straight week of dipping numbers.
National volume during the month’s last weekend plummeted 19% compared to the previous weekend (December 18-20). The numbers also represented a 46% decrease over the versus the same holiday stretch in 2019.