Over 100% increase in this year’s alcohol sales will make you question your college days

I should have written this yesterday, but I drank too much.

Photo: Chris F/Pexels

Any sentence that begins with COVID-19 just makes you want to uncork that bottle and pour yourself a fat glass. Trust me, I get you. In fact, we all do.

Information on the pandemic is as stressful as your parent’s asking you if you have a boyfriend around the holidays. As much as it is celebratory, alcohol is a depression-friendly buy.

Let’s say you get a promotion? You buy champagne. If you lose your job, you wonder if your good buddy, Jack Daniels, is busy tonight.

WARNING! the statistics you’re about to read might have you questioning where we all went wrong (and for some…where we all went right).

First rounds on me…

Let’s talk about where people buy wine, spirits, beer, you know… booze. It’s measured by on-premise sales, off-premise sales, and online sales. Many of us are not salespeople. So, what does this mean? Well, I’m glad you asked.

On-premise sales…

…is any sale of alcohol bought in a facility to drink inside the facility. These are your bars, restaurants, and lounges. If it is a place of business with a valid license and allows you to drink on-premise legally, that’s an on-premise sale.

Overall, these types of businesses that have stayed open have increased their sales rate upwards of 233% since the beginning of March.

*Clink clink* to a good night out!

Photo: ELEVATE/Pexels

Off-premise sales…

…is any sale of alcohol bought in a facility to be taken off property to drink. These are places like your liquor stores, grocery stores.

Overall, these kinds of places grew their dollar by 17.6% in September and October compared to 2019.

  • Spirits lead sales at these types of businesses by 26.3%.
  • Wine is the slow slur coming in second at 18.9%.
  • Beer, ciders, and Flavored Malt Beverages (FMB) are up 13.9%.

Let’s break those down even further.

Where are my, ‘I want it now’ people? You guys have upped your drinking game by far.

Ready-to-drink cocktailsget ready for this one…have increased by 131%.

Hey, you like it easy… who can blame you?

Tequila and Cognac sales increased by more than 55%.

You guys must be looking for trouble, huh?

Now, I’m looking for those who like that bubbly! Champagne has skyrocketed to a growing rate of over 70% in sales. Sparkling wine has bubbled its way into consumers’ hearts faster than COVID-19 began. You can thank Champagne for that increase.

Photo: Dmitry Zvolskiy/Pexels

Online sales…

Right now, online is everything. You know this. I know this. We know this.

Hold your glass. Hold your bottle. Hold your sippy cup. These numbers will blow your mind, or you can take your sanity back, guaranteed.

Online sales have grown upwards of 500% earlier this year. (Yes, that number is correct. One more time for the people in the back: 500%.) Recently, those numbers have pumped the brakes, but they still do better than most other consumer good categories.

Girl, I thought you were just shopping for clothes?

Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

For September, the growth of online alcohol sales was up by 256% compared to last year. Can you believe that?!

  • Spirits are in the lead online at 354%.
  • Beer, ciders, and Flavored Malt Beverages (FMB) increased by 274%.
  • Wine is up by 234%.

Time to pay the tab…

It’s the end of the night. You get your tab. You’re stunned by the number. You ask yourself, ‘did I really order that many drinks?’

I had a similar thought process as my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets reading these statistics. ‘Did America really increase their alcohol consumption by more than 100%?’

So, what does this mean?

Well, besides the fact that the majority of our nation-wide population really likes to drink, we need to break down the benefits and setbacks of this.

Good news first!

The Mayo Clinic says:

“Moderate alcohol consumption may provide some health benefits, such as:

Reducing your risk of developing and dying of heart disease

Possibly reducing your risk of ischemic stroke (when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow)

Possibly reducing your risk of diabetes

This is also good news for the Food and Beverage (F&B) industries. Americans have helped these businesses stay in business which then becomes a domino effect.

Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Hear me out:

With increased alcohol consumption, wine, spirits, and beer distributors have a higher volume of clients. The headquarters for these products have branding jobs. Marketing is a must. Labeling is necessary, and, of course, creating the product… so on and so forth. From the sales reps to brand ambassadors to servers… they get to cash a check and then crack open a cold one.

Now, the bad news…

I know, I know. I should just end the article now and keep you guys out of your misery. But, like all good things, there are red flags.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says moderated drinking is one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. (Many of you are turning to your weekly list of goals right now and re-aligning them. That’s okay, we’ve all been there.)

The CDC also says heavy drinking for women is eight drinks per week and 15 drinks a week for men.

Increased alcohol consumption can put you at risk for heart problems, like high blood pressure and strokes. It can cause issues to your liver and your pancreas. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions as it interferes with your brain's communications pathways.

I’m not saying any of this to scare you. I want you to drink responsibly. I want you to help alcohol sales, but to do so with a good head on your shoulders, and in the safest way possible. To do that, we have to state the facts, understand the consumption model, and ultimately make smart choices.

To you, reader, I raise a glass. Stay safe out there. Keep making alcohol history, and if you don’t… sit back and enjoy the continuously crazy statistics.

Cheers!

**Statistics gathered from Nielsen.

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