Over the last three months, consumers of all ages have demonstrated an increased willingness to go out, which has led to an uptick in restaurant sales. Last month, restaurants nationwide posted a 36% increase in sales year-over-year and a 13.6% increase over February sales.
Sales velocities at bars and restaurants have more than tripled year-over-year (+325%) now that the calendar is cycling the strictest lockdown period in 2020, according to Nielsen CGA, market research firm NielsenIQ’s on-premise arm. “Across all states, value velocity remains strongly positive compared to last year, when on-premise decline was at its height,” Nielsen CGA reported.
Brewers Association (BA) chief economist Bart Watson this week delivered his annual state of the industry report virtually for the second time, due to the 2020 cancellation and 2021 postponement of the Craft Brewers Conference, now slated to take place this fall. In 2020, the nation’s 8,764 craft breweries posted a 9% decline in beer volume, so Watson delved into the market forces and consumer trends that led to the first volume decline recorded in BA history during a webinar for members.
Continuing to cycle the tough comps of 2020’s pandemic stock-up period, off-premise dollar sales of alcoholic beverages declined 1.3% for the week ending March 27, compared to the same week last year, according to market research firm NielsenIQ.
The Brewers Association (BA) released its annual craft brewery production report, which showed a 9% decline in 2020, in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. BA chief economist Bart Watson cautioned that the decline is not a perfect representation of the year for the nation’s 8,764 craft breweries.
Under the new county order, breweries, wineries and craft distilleries may open for indoor service capped at 25% capacity if all alcohol sales are accompanied by bona fide meals, which can be provided in partnership with a food vendor. Businesses without food service may offer outdoor on-site service.
Sierra Nevada has announced it will reopen its breweries in Chico, California, and Mills River, North Carolina, to the public in May after what will be a 14-month hiatus from on-site service, according to a report in the Chico Enterprise-Record. Philadelphia-headquartered, on-demand delivery platform goPuff announced the completion of a $1.15 billion fundraising round earlier this week.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced most Americans to stay home except for essential errands last spring, on-demand alcohol delivery e-commerce platform Drizly’s sales skyrocketed. “We saw years’ worth of growth — five years’ worth of growth — in just a three-month timeframe,” Drizly chief operating officer Cathy Lewenberg said.
Off-premise beverage alcohol dollar sales fell for the first time in more than a year, declining 1.9% for the week ending March 13 as the industry faces tough comparisons due to the shift in consumer purchasing a year ago, as shoppers stocked their fridges as on-premise shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to market research firm NielsenIQ.
Eight in 10 regular craft beer drinkers believe breweries should be allowed to ship beer directly to consumers in more states than the 13 where the practice is legal, according to a study published by the Brewers Association (BA) and Sovos ShipCompliant.
Oregon lawmakers are considering a tax hike on alcoholic beverages that would increase taxes on malt beverages by $70 per barrel. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill in the early hours of Saturday, February 27. The bill includes a $25 billion fund for grants for bars, restaurants and breweries.
Employees of Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned Platform Beer Company’s taproom in Columbus, Ohio, walked out en masse on Saturday, February 27, citing unsafe working conditions, according to social media posts.
“As a global pandemic ravaged the world, the country, the state and our very own city, Platform’s handling of the situation — and the praise for its employees — has been almost entirely performative,” the staff wrote in a letter that was shared online.
Draft beer volumes last weekend dropped by 19.4% compared to BeerBoard’s January 28-31 survey as the state was battered by winter storms that crippled its power grid, leaving almost 4 million people without electricity.
Several pieces of legislation working their ways through Congress would bring much needed relief to the hospitality industry — including breweries, brewpubs and taprooms — as they continue to struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic.