The total off-trade BWS category saw an increase in the rate of sales growth for the last week of October, as various UK locations faced stricter locations under the tiered approach to dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

Data from Nielsen for the week ending October 31, 2020, showed an increase in BWS sales of 20% on the same week in 2019, which is up from 16% for the previous week. For the month of October sales are up 18% in comparison to October 2019, while the Covid period to date shows an increase of 23% on 2019.

Rob Hallworth, Nielsen’s client delivery team leader, said: “This week BWS saw an increase in its growth (+20%) as various UK locations faced stricter restrictions that culminated into national lockdown announced on the evening of October 31.”

Spirits saw the most noticeable jump in sales. The week prior (the week ending October 24) saw spirits sales up by 15% compared to the same week in 2019, but in the last week of October 2020 this rose to 24%.

Hallworth said: “Spirits saw strong growth this week as we head towards Christmas which is an important period for the category.”