Ultra-premium spirits boost US off-trade sales

23rd July, 2020 by Nicola Carruthers

Spirits continued to outperform wine and beer in the US off-trade in the week ending 11 July 2020, led by ultra-premium variants, according to new data from Nielsen.

Irish whiskey

Ultra-premium spirits continued to boost US off-trade alcohol sales

Off-trade spirits sales were up 25.5% in the week ending 11 July 2020 compared to the same seven-day period last year. Spirits grew by a wide margin compared to other alcohol categories, Nielsen noted, at nearly 10 points higher than wine and beer, flavoured malt beverages (FMB) and cider.

In comparison, wine rose by 16.6% while beer, FMB and cider “lagged significantly” with a 14.1% increase.

Within beer, FMB and cider, hard seltzers continued to grow by triple digits with a growth of 149% for the seven-day period.

The ultra-premium spirits segment continued to outperform the growth rate of other price tiers, Nielsen said, with growth rates generally above 50% for most weeks.

Spirits growth was once again led by ready-to-drink cocktails, which grew 71.6% in the week ending 11 July. It was closely followed by Tequila at 69.4% and Cognac, which rose by 53.1%.

Nielsen said vodka grew “well behind the overall spirits category” and only just managed to stay at double digits, increasing by 10%.

For the week ending 7 March until the week ending 27 June, online alcohol sales grew 309%, compared to the same period last year.

Danelle Kosmal, vice president of beverage alcohol at Nielsen, said: “Week over week, alcohol was one of the fastest-growing categories in e-commerce channels, though as one of the smallest categories in e-commerce channels, there is a lot of opportunity for growth.

“Across the three categories in alcohol, wine maintains the bulk of the share of online alcohol sales; however, spirits has been growing faster and gaining share throughout Covid-impacted weeks. The challenge, of course, for beer is to identify ways to gain a bigger piece of that online pie.”

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our newsletter