Here we are with the MHW and Nielsen partnership to bring you changes in beverage sales based on year over year weekly comparison. It is clear that Americans are spending more on spirits and alcohol overall. The year-over-year growth rate for total off-premise alcohol dollar sales within Nielsen measured channels is +24.1%.

. Spirits again the largest gain, +30.2%.

. Wine was +23.8%.

. Beer/FMB/cider growth is +22.1%. Beer specifically is +13.1%.

For the latest 14-week time frame when COVID-19 heavily impacted consumer behavior (from the week ending 3/7/20 through the week ending 6/6/20), we've seen the following change in dollar sales in aggregate (from our in-store retail measurement):

. Total alcohol: +26.3%

. Beer/FMB/cider: +21.4%

. Beer, specifically: +13.3%

. Wine: +29.9%

. Spirits: +35.2%

Under a full lockdown situation and even with 'alcohol to go' allowed, Nielsen has estimated that U.S. off-premise volume sales would need to maintain at least 22% growth rates to offset the on-premise losses. Spirits and wine had managed to maintain those volume growth rates, while beer/FMB/cider remained below that threshold. For the 14-week time frame ending 6/6/20, the percentage change in off-premise volume sales vs. one year ago is the following:

. Spirits: +31.6%

. Wine: +25.8%

. Beer/FMB/cider: +17.3%

As the on-premise begins to emerge from lockdown and some consumption swings back to those channels, we will adjust those threshold growth rates.

Comments by Danny Brager, Senior Vice President of Beverage Alcohol at Nielsen:

"While every state has entered some phase of re-opening, we would expect to see off-premise alcohol growth rates beginning to slow as some volume shifts back to the on-premise. However, total off-premise alcohol sales in the current week still grew at a very strong pace, up 24.1% in dollar sales compared to last year."

Comments by Danelle Kosmal, Vice President of Beverage Alcohol at Nielsen:

"While beer/flavored malt beverage/cider again trailed spirits and wine in year-over-year off-premise dollar sales growth, it has narrowed the gap and is now +22.1% for the latest week and +15.4% for the full year-to-date."


Beer/FMB/cider dollar sales growth is +22.1%. Beer specifically is +13.1%.

. Hard seltzer is +255%, and maintains double-digit dollar share of category, accounting for 10.1% of category dollars for the latest week, the third week in a row where hard seltzers accounted for more than 10% of the category.

. FMBs (excluding seltzers) are +19.3%.

. Super premium is +22.8%. Premium lights were up 9.8% for the latest week.

. Craft had a strong week, up 16.5%. The top 10 craft brand families (ranked by dollars in pre-COVID time period) are up in dollar sales for the latest week, and all but one are up double digits.

. Mexican imports are +19.0%.

. Kombucha had its slowest week, but is still up double digits at +50.1%.

. Beer/FMB/cider pack sizes have not normalized yet, as growth of large packs continues to outpace smaller packs.

. 24-packs grew 27.7% in dollars, 30-packs +23.4%, 6-packs +12.3%, and singles still trailing at +6.3%.

. Similar to recent weeks, 12-packs are leading growth, up 42.5%.


Wine dollar sales in Nielsen measured off-premise channels grew +23.8% in the most recent week vs. one year ago.

. Similar to pre-COVID trends, sparkling wine is growing faster than table wine, with various price points including French Champagne showing significant strength.

. Sparkling wine is +30.5%

. Table wine is +20.9%

. 750 ml table wine growth rates have now exceeded the 1.5L bottle for 7 consecutive weeks.

. Wine in cans continue to grow fast, but the current growth of +51.8% is below earlier weeks of growth, as well as pre-COVID growth.

. Growth of both $20-$25 and $25+ table wine price tiers have remained near or above +40% for the last six weekly periods.

. Over the past 14 weeks, imported table wines have increased their share in Nielsen measured off-premise channels.

. In aggregate, their sales are up 32.7% vs. year ago, vs. +26.5% for domestic table wines.

The newest Direct to Consumer Wine shipments for the month of May 2020, based upon Nielsen's partnership with Wines Vines Analytics and Sovos ShipCompliant, showed consistently high shipment growth.

. Current month volume growth was +44% ahead of year ago, following a similar increase last month.

. Dollar increases for May 2020 strengthened to +22% vs. +15% last month, so the gap between dollar gains and volume gains narrowed.

. However, the comparatively slower dollar growth relative to volume dropped the average price per shipped bottle -$6.45 to just over $35 during May 2020.


Spirit sales in Nielsen measured off-premise channels grew +30.2%, again well ahead of the other alcohol categories.

. As a reminder, while spirits was also growing faster than wine or beer pre-COVID, it's likely that some of its growth lead since then is a function of its higher on-premise share of alcohol than in the off-premise, and a transfer of demand as restaurants and bars shuttered for on-premise eating and drinking.

. While growth of most segments edged down just a bit, ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails were an exception, as we've seen consistent growth rates over 80% for eleven consecutive weeks.

. Looking back over the last six weeks in aggregate, RTD cocktails sales are now bigger in Nielsen measured off-premise channels than both gin and Irish whiskey.

. After that, within the major spirit segments, Tequila remains comfortably in second place based on growth rates, followed by cordials, with cognac not too far behind

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