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Quarter of DTC alcohol purchases fail to check ID

The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) has conducted a survey on direct-to-consumer (DTC) alcohol shipping practices and consumer sentiment.

dtc alcohol shipping WSWA
One in four adults did not have their ID checked when receiving online alcohol purchases

The survey, created in partnership with Morning Consult, involved more than 2,000 adults in the US over three days in August 2023.

WSWA found that one in four adults purchasing alcohol through DTC vendors did not have their IDs checked when receiving their orders.

Of those US adults surveyed, 76% were concerned about the age verification process when using an online vendor or delivery platform. That number increased for those who had previously purchased from an online vendor (87%) or directly from a distillery, brewery or winery (82%).

More than half (54%) identified a lack of age verification as a top concern.

Other concerns included a lack of oversight by enforcement agencies (32%), worries about counterfeit or illicit products entering the market (28%), and an undermining of local, licensed retailers in their communities (28%).

“That data is clear,” said WSWA CEO and president Francis Creighton. “When we talk about expanding interstate alcohol shipping, we’re talking about dismantling the three-tier system to benefit 10% or fewer American adults while more than doubling ID check compliance failure rates.

“Expanding shipping threatens the ability of states to protect public health and safety.

“The bottom line is that the convenience of having alcohol arrive on consumers’ doorsteps is overshadowed by the danger alcohol shipping poses to public health and safety.

“Not to mention the locally licensed retailers that are the current front lines in the fight to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors.”

The survey also found that Americans prefer to purchase alcohol in person: at grocery stores (65%), local liquor stores (64%), or at restaurants and bars (47%).

Only 10% of respondents said they like to purchase alcohol from online vendors.

In November last year, WSWA criticised a report in support of DTC spirits shipping for providing a ‘misleading conclusion’.

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