COVID-19 lockdowns in the US and UK have accelerated drinking trends that were growing well before the pandemic.
And we’ve four ways our drinking behavior has changed according to market research leader, Nielsen.
Non Alcoholic Beer Continues To Rise
Countering the widely-held belief that a locked down populace is passing its time getting buzzed, come stats that indicate that not everybody is.
In fact, the non-alcoholic beer segment has had “one of its strongest” weeks since lockdown in terms of sales, according to Nielsen. Which suggests that as the lockdown continues, the novelty of heightened drinking is wearing off and moderation is back on the menu.
Sales of non-alcoholic beer in the US were up 44% the first week in March. This is on top of rapid growth that the segment has already enjoyed in 2019.
Beer Pantries Are Well Stocked
With many still unable to drink in bars, taprooms and restaurants, consumers are continuing to stock up at home. And according to Nielsen that borderline hoarding behavior is escalating as the weather gets warmer.
The first week in March saw the second highest beer sales in 2019, right behind last year’s July 4th beer-buying period…
And when people are shopping they’re buying for the long haul. Large packs continue to outpace most other formats, with 30 packs up 36.2% and 24 packs up 35%.
“Over the past several weeks, consumers indicated they tend to have more beer and hard seltzers on hand than what they typically would have at home,” Danelle Kosmal, vice president of beverage alcohol at Nielsen, said. “However, most consumers also said that they would buy more when they are close to running out, as opposed to completely running out and then buying more.”
Hard Seltzer Continues To Gain On Beer
Over the past few weeks, sales of 12 packs of beer, Ready-to-Drink alcoholic beverage (RTDs) and ciders had surged 52% compared to last year.
A lot of this 12-pack growth is driven by the uber-hot hard seltzer category, according to Nielsen a segment which has gained considerably on beer in the US.
Consumers Are Purchasing More Beer Online Than Ever Before
Online off-premise alcohol sales in the US are up a staggering 338.8% according to Nielsen, for the one-week period ending on May 9.
UK beer brand Jubel saw its online sales rise an amazing 1400% since the lockdown began on March 20, despite only recently having set up a viable e-commerce platform on its own website.