Tequila and RTDs most purchased spirits in US

6th May, 2020 by Nicola Carruthers

Spirits continued to drive the growth of US off-trade alcohol sales in the week ending 25 April, boosted by ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails and the consistent rise of Tequila, according to Nielsen’s latest figures.

Cinco de Mayo celebrations helped to boost Tequila’s growth in the US off-trade

For the seven-day period, total off-trade alcohol sales were up 26.4%, a rise of 3.6% from the week before. Wine rose by 29.4%, while beer, flavoured malt beverages and cider grew by 20.4%.

Off-trade spirits sales were up 39.6% in the week ending 25 April. This represented a 1.4% increase on the previous week.

RTD cocktails were spirits’ main growth driver, with the category doubling its sales from the same period last year. It was followed by cordials and Tequila, which grew between 65% and 70%, and gin, American and Irish whiskey, which were up by between 45% and 50%.

Nielsen noted Tequila’s growth has been consistent, with a rise of 55% for the latest eight-week period and an increase of 69% for the week ending 25 April. Its growth coincided with the run up to Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo on 5 May, a popular celebration in the US.

The rise of cordials and RTD cocktails indicates “considerable interest in both the convenience of having a mixed adult beverage all ready to pour and consume, along with mixology practised in the home”, Nielsen said.

Nielsen also found a continued increase in the average price paid at retail outlets across beer, wines and spirits, mainly due to consumers trading up.

In terms of online, alcohol witnessed skyrocketing sales with spirits “growing the fastest on a percentage base”, Nielsen added. For the eight-week period ending 25 April, spirits grew 33.5%.

“Off-premise alcohol gains continue to outpace those for total consumer packaged goods. And e-commerce is a big factor,” said Danny Brager, senior vice president of beverage alcohol at Nielsen.

“Over the past four weeks through the week ending April 25 2020, online sales are up between five and six-fold compared to the same periods one year prior.

“Largely, this relates to a huge increase in the number of buyers going online to buy, with a secondary increase related to more items purchased per order.”

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