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US off-trade spirits sales grow 26.2%

Off-trade spirits sales in the US rose by 26.2% in the week ending 22 August compared to the same period in 2019, according to the latest Nielsen data.

US off-trade spirits sales rose 26.2% in the week ending 22 August

The value of off-trade sales of spirits in the week ending 22 August 2020 was up 26.2% and total alcohol sales in the sector across the US were up 18% for the period.

Danelle Kosmal, vice president of beverage alcohol at Nielsen, said: “Off-premise alcohol also has experienced steady and somewhat consistent trends since June. Alcohol grew 18% in off-premise channels for the latest week ending 22 August 2020, and year-over-year dollar growth trends for the previous week were +18.5%. The idea of consumers settling into this next normal continues, and I expect to see similar off-premise growth trends for the next several weeks.”

Spirits sales in the off-trade were boosted by whisky, which accounted for 33% of total spirits growth dollars in off-trade channels. Across the whisky category, American whiskey increased by 27.8% and Irish whiskey saw value sales rise 27.6%.

Although just accounting for 0.3% of spirits sales, Japanese whisky saw a surge in demand during the week ending 22 August, and increased 60.1% over the same period last year.

Nielsen also reported 59.1% growth for Tequila, 101% gains for ready-to-drink cocktails and a 53.2% increase in sales of Cognac.

In the on-trade, alcohol sales grew just 3% in the week ending 22 August compared to the week ending 15 August. The increase represents the seventh consecutive week without a decline for the sector.

Kosmal added: “While off-premise growth rates for alcohol continue to outpace growth rates of total consumer goods, we reiterate that the off-premise growth is not enough to make up for the total losses in on-premise channels. There has been a significant shift in volume from on-premise channels, which has exaggerated growth rates for off-premise alcohol.”

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