Home Industry News Releases Off-Premise Alcohol Growth Rates Slow, Shifts Back to the On-Premise

Off-Premise Alcohol Growth Rates Slow, Shifts Back to the On-Premise

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nielsenUnless otherwise noted, all trends below are for dollar sales within Nielsen U.S. off-premise channels for the one-week period ending 6/6/20 compared to the same week in 2019. We continue to remind our readers that we are only measuring some specific off premise channels, and that the impact of the health crisis on sales is uneven across companies in the alcohol industry.

The year-over-year growth rate for total off-premise alcohol dollar sales within Nielsen measured channels is +24.1%.

  • Wine was +23.8%.
  • Spirits again led growth, +30.2%. Beer/FMB/cider growth is +22.1%, and beer specifically is +13.1%.
  • Similar to pre-COVID trends, sparkling wine is growing faster than table wine, with various price points including French Champagne showing significant strength.
  • Sparkling wine is +30.5%
  • Table wine is +20.9%
  • 750 ml table wine growth rates have now exceeded the 1.5L bottle for 7 consecutive weeks.
  • Wine in cans continue to grow fast, but the current growth of +51.8% is below earlier weeks of growth, as well as pre-COVID growth.
  • Growth of both $20-$25 and $25+ table wine price tiers have remained near or above +40% for the last six weekly periods.
  • Over the past 14 weeks, imported table wines have increased their share in Nielsen measured off-premise channels.
  • In aggregate, their sales are up 32.7% vs. year ago, vs. +26.5% for domestic table wines.

For the latest 14-week timeframe when COVID-19 heavily impacted consumer behavior (from the week ending 3/7/20 through the week ending 6/6/20), wine is +29.9% in dollar sales in aggregate (from our in-store retail measurement).

Under a full lockdown situation and even with ‘alcohol to go’ allowed, Nielsen has estimated that U.S. off-premise volume sales would need to maintain at least 22% growth rates to offset the on-premise losses. For the 14-week timeframe ending 6/6/20, wine is +25.8% in off-premise volume sales vs. one year ago.

Direct to Consumer

The newest Direct to Consumer Wine shipments for the month of May 2020, based upon Nielsen’s partnership with Wines Vines Analytics and Sovos ShipCompliant, showed consistently high shipment growth.

  • Current month volume growth was +44% ahead of year ago, following a similar increase last month.
  • Dollar increases for May 2020 strengthened to +22% vs. +15% last month, so the gap between dollar gains and volume gains narrowed.
  • However, the comparatively slower dollar growth relative to volume dropped the average price per shipped bottle -$6.45 to just over $35 during May 2020.

In the words of Danny Brager, Senior Vice President of Beverage Alcohol at Nielsen:

“While every state has entered some phase of re-opening, we would expect to see off-premise alcohol growth rates beginning to slow as some volume shifts back to the on-premise. However, total off-premise alcohol sales in the current week still grew at a very strong pace, up 24.1% in dollar sales compared to last year.”

Overview: Nielsen COVID-19 insights and analysis

Nielsen CGA: COVID-19: Measuring the On Premise Impact

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