Liquor Laws Change in Response to Demand for Delivery During Pandemic

Despite rising COVID-19 cases, most of the governors in the United States have lifted stay-at-home orders. But some states such as Texas have now banned bars from serving alcohol to keep the infectious virus at bay.

The unprecedented stay-at-home orders and whiplash of phased reopening starting and pausing have left customers craving their favorite cocktail, and disgruntled brands looking for new revenue streams.

In response, some state legislatures are working to change their laws to allow alcohol delivery.

Many states forbid shipping wine and spirits, halting the growth of delivery giants such as Drizly and hampering direct-to-consumer efforts from wineries and distilleries.

During the pandemic, residents tried to stay home, but the demand grew for happy hours at home and delivery. (more…)

Outdoor Drinking Venues May Replace Bars During the Pandemic

Side view of beautiful young couple sitting at the table and clinking glasses of champagne. Charming lady enjoying romantic date with boyfriend at rooftop restaurant with night cityscape on backgroundWhile the COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed down purchases of wine and spirits from liquor stores and online vendors, it did eliminate one crucial avenue of beverage sales: restaurants and other social venues. Premium wines have taken an especially big hit, since people tend to order more expensive wine when they go out, but drink the cheaper stuff at home. This shift has had a dramatic impact on the wine industry in the months since the pandemic began.

Even before the stay-at-home orders went into effect, on-premise drinking was experiencing an overall decline. But that may soon start to change yet again. Restaurants in 44 states have reopened, or are set to reopen in some capacity in the near future. While many are still rightfully cautious about the spread of disease, the months of isolation have left others eagerly awaiting the chance to go out to eat and drink, especially taking into account the pleasant summer weather.

Will people risk coming out in numbers this summer for social drinking? And how will outdoor drinking this summer affect the wine and spirits industry? Let’s examine.

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Distilleries are Producing Sanitizer to Help Fight COVID-19

Distilleries across the country have stepped up their production in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the increase is not just due to a rising demand for alcoholic beverages. These distilleries have begun producing sanitizer products to help prevent the virus from spreading.

While this might sound strange at first, it actually makes a lot of sense. Ethanol, the type of alcohol used in beverages, is also the primary ingredient in most sanitizers. The stills that are used to distill the liquor are also capable of brewing up large quantities of sanitizer at once.

Many companies are facing difficulty due to complications in the process or regulations on sanitizer products. But even in the face of economic uncertainty, they are willing to take on these expenses and challenges for the good of the public health. (more…)

Quarantined Americans Drinking More Than Ever

Most of America has been under a “stay at home order” for the last six weeks because of COVID-19, the Novel Coronavirus. While Americans are confined to their homes, they’re coping by cracking open a few more bottles of wine or pouring more than just a few extra cocktails.

Americans already enjoyed drinking at home, but now that they’re forced to stay in, they are buying more alcoholic beverages online than ever before. In fact, online alcoholic beverage sales increased 387% for the week ending April 11, according to CNN. The week prior, sales were up a whopping 441%.

Online sales are not booming solely because restaurants and bars are closed. Total alcohol sales grew 26.2% compared to the same week last year, according to Nielsen. (more…)

Thinking Outside the To-Go Box: How Bars and Restaurants are Innovating During the Pandemic

Social distance conceptual small business waiter serving customer at coffee shop

Bars and restaurants – once the center of social activity for millions of Americans – have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Restaurant Association estimates that the restaurant industry has lost more than 3 million jobs and $25 billion in sales since March 1, and the numbers keep growing.

Many in the industry have tried to adapt by converting operations to take-out only, but clearly, this is a stop-gap measure. Other bars and restaurants are taking it a step further, hoping that their innovative approaches lead to higher sales than the takeout-only approach and foster customer loyalty that extends post-pandemic. Let’s examine. (more…)

How to Take Advantage of the Shift from On-Premise to Off-Premise Drinking

A major shift that has been taking place within the alcoholic beverage industry is the rising tendency for consumers to enjoy their drinks at home, rather than at a bar or restaurant. Of course, the current pandemic has eliminated on-premise drinking entirely, for the time being. But even before Covid, drinks consumed ‘on-premise’ have been in a steady decline for several years, while the number of people drinking at home is on the rise.

While every company responds to trends like these differently, the ones who are best able to utilize data to quickly recognize and react to them find the most success.

Dimensional Insight’s case study of Campari America provides a glimpse into this and other changes in the industry, and how one company used data to respond to them. Here’s what we can learn by studying their example. (more…)

Sipping and Shopping: Stores are Offering Drinks to Customers to Increase Sales

While browsing the latest spring styles in a store, the hottest new accessory is a glass of champagne.

Stores such as Nordstrom, Crate and Barrel, Target, and Whole Foods are partnering up with wine and spirits brands to offer customers a glass of wine or even a cocktail in the hopes of increasing a customer’s total spending. For customers, the shopping experience can feel more luxurious or fun with a drink.

“From a marketing perspective, it’s genius,” Kate Carey, a professor of behavioral and social sciences at Brown University told The Washington Post. “Draw people in [with] the novel pairing of drinking alcohol while shopping, and then lower their inhibitions as you are presenting them with things to buy.” (more…)

Brands Brace for Sales, Revenue Dips Among Coronavirus Spread

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting every industry, and tanking the global economy as a whole. Even in the wine and spirits world, it’s causing profit loss.

Distilleries have canceled tours, whiskey trading is experiencing losses of more than 200 million, bars in Asia are quiet, and auction houses are halting selling their top whiskeys.

According to the World Health Organization, there are 110,029 Coronavirus cases in 105 countries, with 3,817 deaths, as of March 9. Internationally, government officials are encouraging citizens to self-quarantine. (more…)

Understanding the Causes of the Spiked Seltzer Trend

Of all the trends and shakeups in the alcohol industry over the past few years, none have been as dramatic or as exciting as the rise of hard seltzers. A few years ago they were almost unheard of, but then, seemingly overnight, they became cultural mainstays and a dominant force in the alcoholic beverage market. In 2019, sales for spiked seltzer shattered expectations by passing the billion-dollar threshold. And their popularity is not slowing down.

There does not appear to be a single, unified reason for this meteoric trend. Rather, everyone seems to have their own reason for being a seltzer fan, whether it’s the taste, the lightness, or the lack of calories. Understanding the causes behind the popularity of seltzer can help us understand whether seltzer is here to stay. (more…)

Are Vending Machines the Bartenders of the Future?

Your vacation has started and you’re ready for a glass of bubbly to celebrate. The days of waiting for a bartender to serve you a drink are over. Now, customers can simply walk over to a vending machine.

This vending machine doesn’t serve candy or bags of chips, but personal-sized bottles of champagne. Others disperse bottled beer or canned cocktails.

Customers are willing to pay up for the benefit of shorter lines and something interesting to Instagram. Some are willing to spend as much as $25 for a 200 mL champagne bottle that would be only $11 in a liquor store.

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