Off-trade sales decelerating, Nielsen data shows

15th August, 2017 by Melita Kiely

Off-trade alcohol sales are decelerating due to economic factors and the influence of e-commerce, according to the latest data from Nielsen CGA.

Off-trade-spirits

Off-trade alcohol sales are slowing down, according to Nielsen CGA data

According to the more recent update from Nielsen CGA, the slow down in off-trade alcohol sales – which continue to outperform on-trade sales – could partially be due to the increase in online alcohol purchases.

Furthermore, the firm highlighted the fact that consumers are visiting stores less frequently, which is impacting more ‘discretionary categories’, such as alcoholic beverages.

Spirits continue to lead sales growing faster than beer and wine, with a 4.1% rise in value and 2.2% rise in volume in the 12 months leading up to 17 June 2017.

In terms of categories, Cognac leads the way in the off-premise, followed by Irish whiskey and Tequila. However, Irish whiskey and Tequila are performing better in the on-trade.

Rum and cordials are struggling in both the on-trade and off-trade, while gin is performing better in the on-trade than off-trade in terms of share and growth.

Danny Brager, SVP of beverage alcohol at Nielsen, said: “E-commerce in beverage alcohol, while still relatively small in comparison to many other categories, will continue to expand.

“Off-premise retailers will need to deal with a growing segment of consumers who may wish to ‘buy’, but who may not need to see the need to visit the store to do so.”

Comparatively, in the on-trade alcohol sales have remained “relatively stable” throughout the start of 2017, but competition remains “fierce”, Nielsen reports.

In the on-trade, spirits again are growing better than wine and beer, with value sales up 3.1% and volumes up 1.6% in the year leading up to 17 June 2017.

Scott Elliott, SVP of Nielsen CGA, said: “Looking for something that cannot be replicated at home, on-premise visitors are seeking out experiences and outlet styles, with brewpubs, tasting rooms and tiki bars especially popular among younger millennials.

“Given that on-premise visits continue to be rooted in ‘experience’ rather than a ‘habit’, it has never been more important for suppliers and retailers to understand, and activate against, specific consumer needs, occasions and repertoires.

“Now that the insights and tools are finally available, suppliers hoping to win in the on-premise must be able to act with a similar level of sophistication around category management, assortment and pricing strategy that has been common in off-premise channels for so long.

“In a market where everyone is fighting for share, we believe that better data-driven strategies are the only way to grow in a consistent and controlled manner.”

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