Off-trade prepares for second lockdown sales spike

As England heads into its second national lockdown this morning, latest Nielsen figures show that the off-trade is still hanging on to the gains in drinks sales it made during the first one, with a renewed spike in sales expected in the coming weeks.

As before, supermarkets, off-licences, wine shops and convenience stores are allowed to remain open during the latest lockdown, while the on-trade is forced into hibernation.

“We can expect off-trade sales to ramp up over the next few weeks as the latest lockdown begins and we head towards Christmas,” said Nielsen client delivery team leader Rob Hallworth.

Nielsen’s latest data shows off-trade BWS sales growth of 16% in the week to October 24, compared with the same week in 2019.

The figure was consistent with the previous week and the rate of growth in beer (+21%), cider (+16) and wine (+14%) also held steady.

Champagne growth increased from 17% to 19% and spirits went from +13% to +15%.

Of the main categories, only non-Champagne sparkling wine showed a slowing in growth rates from the previous week, down from +11% to +8%.

Off-trade BWS sales are 23% up on 2019 for the full pandemic period, measured from the start of February.

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