Bottle shop

Alcohol impulse buying on the up

October 29, 2020
By Ioni Doherty

Post-COVID impulse buying up and health focus continues to grow among liquor shoppers

When it comes to buying alcohol, impulsive purchasing has increased by 5 per cent since before Covid. The results are presented in Liquor after the crisis – the latest shopper insights report from Shopper Intelligence that compares behaviour between August-September of this year and last.

This ‘on the spot’ behaviour contrasts with grocery shopping habits. Currently visits to the supermarkets are more highly planned and thought out excursions than they were pre-Covid.

David Shukri at Shopper Intelligence said: “When it comes to liquor, shoppers are now more hand to mouth than before the crisis. Their trips are more focused on specific occasions and they’re more likely to consume the same day. This is unlike grocery where we have seen more stocking up on products, spending less time in store and visiting less often.”

He described the shift as significant it terms of what it means for retailers and suppliers in the channel. In-store investment becomes more important with ideas, enticing displays and effective disruption at shelf playing a bigger role in driving sales across liquor.

Additionally, there is polarisation occurring at category level when it comes to the type of products shoppers are looking for. In RTDs and cider, there is greater willingness among shoppers to pay for more for premium options, while in beer the opposite is true, as shoppers signal they are now happier to try lower price or private label brands.

These nuances mean that businesses must take a category-by-category approach to fully understand how their brands might be impacted in the current marketplace.

Shukri added, “Now more than ever you can see the importance of having an up to date view of your shopper and avoiding assumptions based on old data.”

The importance of having healthy choices in liquor has also continued to rise during 2020. A trend in play for some time now, health has stepped on again since the pandemic with shoppers over 35 leading the push for more health-orientated liquor products.

To hear more highlights from this report and learn more about what changing liquor shopper behaviours mean for you, register for Shopper Intelligence’s free webinar here.

Shopper Intelligence is a partner of the Drinks Association

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