Spirits and wine look to be the off-trade winners of the second lockdown, reflecting a seasonal switch from beer and cider, which were the strongest performing categories in the first lockdown.

The latest Nielsen data shows off-trade sales are climbing weekly in response to the closure of the on-trade, although the levels of growth are lower than those seen in the first lockdown.

Data for the week ending November 7, shows total off-trade growth of 27% compared to the same week in 2019. This level of growth is outpacing that seen in the total Covid period to date, whereby the total off-trade is up 23%.

The Nielsen data shows that while beer and cider both recorded good levels of growth for the week, wine and spirits sales saw a noticeable jump (up by 30% and 25% respectively).

Nielsen’s client delivery team leader, Rob Hallworth, told DRN: “The introduction of a new lockdown in England has bumped BWS sales up by 27% as the on-trade closed from November 5, though not to the level we saw during the first lockdown. Grocery multiples benefited the most from this, growing by 28% (up from 19% last week), which is faster than impulse, which saw only small value sales increase (up 26%) versus the previous week’s 24%. Shoppers are likely favouring bigger stores to meet their needs as lockdown measures hit again.

“Seasonality means trends are slightly different in this lockdown. Cider, while still growing at 24%, is behind the year-to-date growth of 21%, whereas spirits (up 30%) and wine (up 25%) are growing ahead of year-to-date figures of 21% and 19% respectively.”