US on-trade sales grow 25% as lockdowns are lifted

26th May, 2020 by Nicola Carruthers

Sales across US bar and restaurants increased by 25% in the week ending 16 May as some states eased coronavirus lockdown measures, according to a Nielsen CGA report.

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Some US states have reopened their bars and restaurants amid the pandemic

Nielsen CGA’s RestauranTrak dataset covers on-trade sales in the US up to the week ending 16 May.

While total sales rose 25% in the seven-day period compared to the week ending 9 May, overall velocity – the rate of change – now stands at a decline of 54%, compared to the pre-Covid-19 norm of more than an 80% decrease.

Nielsen noted that some states witnessed huge improvement in velocity trends as lockdown measures were lifted. In Texas, velocity is now at a drop of 32% below the pre-coronavirus norm. Velocity has grown week-over-week by 30% (9 May) and 21% (16 May).

Nielsen said Florida had delivered considerable week-over-week growth over the last 14 days, with velocity up 30% from 9 May to 16 May.

In Georgia, growth of 22% and 28% over the two weeks of 9 May and 16 May have led to a velocity dip of 46% vs the pre-Covid-19 norm – a “substantial improvement” on trends at the start of lockdown.

While on-trade outlets remain closed to in-house dining and drinking in New York, California and Illinois, Nielsen said that sales velocity continues to improve on a weekly basis as consumers continue to embrace new forms of trading.

In New York, week-on-week velocity has grown by 13% for the week ending 16 May, following a 3% rise in the previous week (9 May). Velocity sits at 70% compared to the norm – an increase of 15% on the 85% decline when lockdown commenced.

In California, week-on-week average sales grew by 10% and 13% for 9 May and 16 May, respectively, as velocity continued its upward trend.

For the week ending 16 May, velocity in Illinois grew by 24% compared to the previous seven-day period.

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