Nielsen Beverage Alcohol Practice reports that year-over-year growth rate for total off-premise alcohol dollar sales within Nielsen measured channels remained high, at +34.8%.
- Wine growth is +35.8% (+5.7% vs. the prior week).
- Spirits continue to lead, up 48.5% (+6.3% vs. the prior week). Beer/FMB/cider at 29.3% (+1.7% vs. the prior week), and beer specifically is +20.4% (+2% vs. prior week).
- That’s now 5 weeks since the beginning of March with weekly sales growth for wine above +30%. Sparkling wine had a very strong week (+48.1%), with table wine well behind (+31.2%) but still strong.
- Consistent over the last three weeks, wines (in glass bottles) across all tiers $11+ ($11-$14.99, $15-$19.99, $20-$24.99, and $25+) are all growing faster than price tiers lower than that. That’s similar to the general direction we saw last year, just at much elevated growth levels since COVID. $20-$24.99 led the way.
- While the number of items sold in the beer category has dropped during COVID primarily from the long tail of the independent craft beer sector, the number of wine items selling in Nielsen measured off premise channels continues to remain firm–suggesting no large scale reduction of wine variety available to shoppers in stores to this point.
For the latest nine-week timeframe when COVID-19 heavily impacted consumer behavior (from the week ending 3/7/20 through the week ending 5/9/20), wine is +30.7%.
Direct to Consumer
Just released Direct to Consumer (DtC) wine shipment numbers for April 2020 from Nielsen’s partnership with Wines Vines Analytics in collaboration with Sovos ShipCompliant showed even larger increases than in March. Volume grew year on year (+45%) in April 2020, but with a significantly smaller dollar increase (+15%), as the average price per bottle sold in this channel dropped from $42 last year at this time to $33 in the current month. Within this measurement, Napa wines – the largest contributor to the DtC shipment channel – experienced the largest reduction in price.
Total online off-premise alcohol sales are +338.8% year-over-year for the one-week period ending 5/9/20. (Source: Nielsen U.S.; Nielsen E-commerce measurement powered by Rakuten Intelligence)
In the words of Danny Brager, Senior Vice President of Beverage Alcohol at Nielsen:
“In looking ahead, we may see some slowdown in off-premise alcohol growth in next week’s data, for the week ending May 16. But we then expect sales to accelerate leading up to Memorial Day, due to several factors: weather, consumer confidence in ‘celebrating’ via consumption at home/out of home, along with likely some (albeit limited) on-premise consumption.”
Overview: Nielsen COVID-19 insights and analysis
- Nielsen.com: COVID-19: Tracking the Impact on FMCG, Retail and Media
- Nielsen.com: How Americans are Shopping During COVID-19
- Nielsen.com: Scenarios Beyond COVID-19: Rebound, Reboot, Reinvent
- Nielsen.com: Rebalancing the ‘COVID-19 Effect’ on Alcohol Sales
Nielsen CGA: COVID-19: Measuring the On Premise Impact