People are buying more booze online than ever before

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Posted: Apr 21, 2020 2:51 PM
Updated: Apr 22, 2020 4:15 PM


People are staying home and they're buying a lot of booze — especially online.

Online alcoholic beverage sales increased 387% for the week ending April 11, which is roughly a month after shelter-in-place orders began taking effect because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Online sales aren't growing quite as quickly as the previous week when ecommerce booze sales grew 441%. Still, the numbers are the fastest-growing sector Nielsen measures in the alcohol space. Customers are staying at home and gravitating toward delivery.

Total alcohol sales that week grew 26.2%, according to Nielsen, which compared the first full week of April to the same time a year ago.

For Drizly, the coronavirus pandemic has been a boon. The startup delivers alcohol from stores to customers in nearly 200 US cities. Sales have been so strong that its growth keeps breaking the previous week's record. New customers have doubled and are currently making up 33% of the company's total sales.

'Consumer awareness of the alcohol ecommerce category has exploded over the last six weeks, as more people turn to delivery services as a safer alternative,' Drizly CEO Cory Rellas told CNN Business. 'We know that during a time when many businesses are struggling, delivery has provided an opportunity for these businesses to continue to provide a valuable service at a local level.'

In the first week of April, online wine sales represented the industry's fastest-growing product, according to Nielsen, because of the Easter holiday. Wine grew 36.5% compared to a year ago and up 5.2% from the previous week.

Spirits sales slid 1% from the previous week ending on April 4 but still grew 32.4% compared to the same week a year ago. Beer and cider sales were also higher compared to the previous week (up 2.7%) and the same week a year ago (up 19.4%).

Drizly has seen similar trends of people gravitating toward wine and spirits. Red wine is the company's top seller, followed by white wine and vodka.

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