Exploring alcohol trends during lockdown

With the UK’s pubs, bars and restaurants shut as a result of the Covid-19 break out, the method a lot of us consume, drink and hang out has altered drastically given that March. It has been a similar time of change for white wine and spirit organizations, with the Coronavirus outbreak providing various challenges– those supplying the on-trade saw sales dry up virtually over night, those with on-site stores at their winery or distillery were forced to close, and in order to endure, numerous businesses had to show tremendous dexterity to react to customer need for buying their alcohol online for house shipment.

Whilst the landscape has actually altered dramatically in the last number of months, and without any one able to say for certain when or if the UK’s alcohol market will go back to how it was prior to the pandemic, it is still fascinating to look at some of the trends we were seeing at the backend of 2019.

In the off-trade, RTDs were growing quicker than any other alcohol category. 2019 saw RTDs offered in supermarkets and stores worth ₤ 338 million, up 16% on the year before. It’s sensible to think that this growth will continue, or possibly even speed up, throughout the first 6 months of 2020, much of which has remained in lockdown. Established producers continue to innovate in the RTD category, and new products are introduced all the time.

Similar to many of the trends in our drinking in the UK, it’s typically practical to look State-side for an idea as to how things might advance. Just as the explosion in appeal of IPAs that revolutionised the beer market throughout America set the tone for a new wave of hoppier, often higher-abv beers from 2015 onwards in the UK, hard seltzers, as they are marketed in the US, look set to be the next imported trend.

2019 development figures for RTDs in the USA were over 200% by volume, with some sub-categories seeing enormous growth, sometimes as high as 500%.

In the on-trade, gin continued to be the most significant chauffeur of growth as consumers tried new mixed drinks, try out brand-new gin flavours and even messed around in new tonics. Without any on-trade activity given that March, it stays to be seen whether gin can keep the crown in the future– will those drinking at home develop new tastes or practices that they will then bring with them to clubs and bars once they re-open?

As a market, we still do not know when our on-trade places can re-open, much less what they will appear like when re-opened, so it is really difficult to predict how consumers will act when they return– assuming they do return with a comparable interest for consuming out as previously.

With people unable to head out to delight in a beverage, it’s unsurprising that sales of alcohol are up in grocery stores and stores. The current numbers from Nielsen show that sales of beers, white wines and spirits are up 26% when compared to the exact same duration in 2015, and current insight from CGA suggests that more people are aiming to try wine at house now they’re not able to get to the pub.

This has resulted in some ideas in the media that Brits are boozing their method through lockdown– but is this really real?

We have seen two surveys released in the last week approximately, one by YouGov on behalf of Drinkaware, and the other by the Portman Group in association with the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, that recommend this might not hold true.

The research study by the Portman Group reveals that 65% of Brits are drinking the very same, less, or even not drinking at all throughout lockdown. Of the 35% that are drinking more, 28% of this group are only consuming ‘a bit more’. There is little in the study to recommend an epidemic of binge drinking– 81% of those drinking less are within the CMO guidelines of 14 systems a week, 72% of those stating they are consuming the very same are within the guidelines, and even within the category that are drinking more alcohol during lockdown, 44% of these drinkers are still consuming less than 14 units a week.

The trends recognized in this study within the UK are broadly reflective of the global photo, too, with around 80% of those surveyed saying they aren’t increasing their alcohol intake during lockdown. This figure is greater than in the UK, but it is necessary to identify that the international figure consists of polling from both South Africa and Mexico– 2 nations that have actually placed heavy limitations and restrictions on the sale of alcohol during their lockdown periods.

Due to the fact that of a desire to remain at home and limitation contact with others as much as possible, and the long queues (and absence of stock in the very first week or more of lockdown) at shops and grocery stores, it does not come as a shock that lots of people are looking online for 24 hr delivery liverpool to buy their alcohol. Small breweries, distilleries and vineyards not able to run their taprooms, distillery shops and cellar doors are taking orders online and offering regional shipment, with some now scaling up to provide across the country. Alcohol membership services are seeing an uptick in customers, and some business are even entirely changing their business model to use direct-to-consumer online sales for the very first time.

Nielsen’s latest numbers reveal that online sales are up 103% on last year, and it’s a similar pattern across the continent– Italy has actually seen a 202% increase in online orders, customers in Spain are purchasing online 130% more than in 2015, and the French are using the internet for their shopping 80% more. With social distancing measures likely to be in place in some kind for the foreseeable future, it’s most likely that even with a steady opening of the on-trade in the coming weeks and months, lots of customers will make online alcohol purchases part of their ‘new normal’.