The beer category didn’t see fireworks in off-premise retail sales this July 4, market research firm NielsenIQ reported. “For the biggest beer holiday of the year, the category had lackluster performance in the off-premise channels this year, with dollar sales down -5.1% compared to last year, and up +7% compared to 2019, which was driven in great part by beyond beer segments,” NielsenIQ vice president of beverage alcohol practice Danelle Kosmal wrote.
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.
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.
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.
Beer category dollar sales at off-premise retailers increased 11.3% during the four-week period ending February 20, according to market research firm NielsenIQ. At present, scan data is cycling the period in 2020 before COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns began and the on-premise channel was operating at full capacity. Consumer spending shifted almost exclusively to the off-premise channel in mid-March.
Consumers spent $97 million on craft beer through e-commerce in 2020, which accounted for 24% of all beer category dollar sales online. In brick-and-mortar stores, however, craft beer makes up 12.6% of all dollar sales. In fact, craft has the second largest dollar share behind flavored malt beverages (32%), which include hard seltzers.
Hard seltzer dollar sales at convenience stores are increasing at nearly double the rates of the rest of the off-premise retailers tracked by market research firm NielsenIQ. Over the last four weeks(ending February 6), off-premise dollar sales of hard seltzers increased 105% at convenience stores compared to the same period last year, while sales increased 55.9% in food (+55.9%) and 59.9% in drug stores.
Off-premise beer category dollar sales increased 15.7% year-to-date through January 23, compared to the same period last year, market research firm NielsenIQ reported. For the four weeks ending January 23 (which includes December 28-31, 2020), off-premise dollars sales of the beer category — which includes core beer, flavored malt beverages, hard seltzers, ciders and malt liquor — increased 14.2%, indicating slight acceleration after January 1.
The number of legal drinking age adults who have visited on-premise establishments has remained stagnant at around 50% for several months, according to a report from Nielsen CGA, the on-premise arm of market research firm NielsenIQ. In the two weeks leading up to the January 8-10 survey period, 50% of respondents said they had gone out for a meal, which was the same number as those who had been out to a restaurant in the two weeks prior.
Drinking occasions remain less popular — 17% of respondents had gone out for a drink in the two weeks before the January 8-10 survey, an increase of 1% from the previous survey. Only 41% of respondents said they planned to visit a restaurant in the two weeks following the survey, but 18% said they would go out for a drink.
Consumers are still buying alcohol to drink at home, and with impending on-premise shutdowns as the COVID-19 pandemic surges, they could be buying even more soon, according to market research firm Nielsen.
The bar and restaurant industry will find little comfort in the most recent report from Nielsen CGA. With colder temperatures around the country threatening to put a damper on outdoor dining and COVID-19 cases on the rise in the majority of states, about half of all adults say they have no intention of returning to dining or drinking outside their homes soon, the on-premise arm of market research firm Nielsen found.
If Summer 2019 was the season hard seltzer found its footing, Summer 2020 was the year it blasted off. Off-premise dollar sales of hard seltzer between the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends this year reached $1.75 billion — a full $1.1 billion more than the same period last year, according to market research firm Nielsen.
Well, that didn’t go as expected. Heading into the Labor Day holiday weekend, off-premise dollar sales of beer, cider and FMBs increased 12.2%, and once again topped $1 billion, for the one-week period ending September 5, according to market research firm Nielsen.
For the first time since April, off-premise beer category dollar sales dipped below $1 billion, to $987 million, for the one-week ending August 29, according to market research firm Nielsen.