Covid Cocktails at home lead to surge in alcohol sales

August 31, 2021
By Melissa Parker

New Research from IRI, leading global provider of data, consulting and insights for FMCG and Retail, has confirmed a key trend in 2021: shoppers are creating at-home cocktail bar experiences during the pandemic, contributing to a surge in alcohol sales.

As shoppers continue to indulge at home due to the latest COVID outbreaks in Australia, with off-premise liquor spending soaring.

IRI reports off-premise liquor spending surged by $3.2 billion in the past 12 months, an additional 190 million litres of alcohol beverages purchased by shoppers in Australia with a clear increase in the volume of alcohol consumed at home.

It revealed shoppers not only consumed more but spent more, adding more products to their baskets and splurging on more expensive super-premium brands with funds otherwise spent on out-of-home indulgences. It also revealed shoppers experimented on different brands, types of mixes and cocktails.

Alistair Leathwood, Chief Commercial Officer Asia Pacific IRI, said, “Shoppers used their time during the pandemic to create aspirational and memorable moments at home. If they were not able to get on a plane and travel to the Bahamas and sit by the pool indulging in Pina Coladas, or pop out to a fancy new cocktail bar in town to sip on a mixologist’s latest creation, they devised those experiences in their living room instead.

“While alcohol is linked to socialisation, relaxation and stress relief, shoppers used more of their time at home to bring the benefits of the outside world in – they wanted to continue to access everyday experiences even if they had to create them themselves. This also reflects the closure of bars and pubs throughout lockdowns, literally forcing drinking to occur within the home.

“Retailers play an important role in supporting people through COVID. So, ensuring indulgent items, such as alcohol and non-alcoholic alternatives, are available and in plentiful supply for consumers is key,” Mr Leathwood added.

With the Australian Government’s extended vaccination roll-out, IRI suggests that Australians will continue to find themselves stuck at home, and retailers should be prepared with stocked shelves of shopper favourite alcohol and non-alcohol alternatives.

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