The Hot Market for Cold Beer: Shopper Insights About Alcohol

If you saw our infographic on alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 period, then you know that consumers are turning to their favorite drinks in increasing numbers to pass the time while movement is still restricted due to the pandemic. While we previously focused on wine and liquor, it turns out, beer lovers are taking part in the COVID economy too.

Beer Sales by the Numbers

When considering consumer behavior around alcohol, we have a few observations from sales trends. During the pandemic, liquor sales have been consistently high—often showing double digit increases compared to the pre-COVID period. Our data showed the largest peak in mid-March once stay-at-home orders began.

Digging into beer specifically, domestic beer sales were up 71% in mid-March. By comparison, imported beer sales were up 52% compared to the same week in 2019. While this trend has begun to level out as the pandemic progresses, beer sales are still elevated compared to pre-COVID times. Our data shows a 15% sales lift for domestic beer and a 9% sales lift for imported beer when comparing the week vs. the same week in 2019.1 When looking at two weeks prior vs. the same week in 2019, sales for domestic beer were up 24% and sales for imported beer were up 12%.2

To further support the ongoing trend of increased beer sales, even after the initial Coronavirus shut downs, there has been only one week since the beginning of March that had below 10% higher beer sales compared to 2019. Given the consistent sales trends we’re observing, beer retailers appear to have prepped for increased consumer demand—particularly during key drive periods like the recent Fourth of July weekend. It’s also possible that some of the bar and restaurant stock has been diverted to retailers instead while many were closed or operating at limited capacity. eCommerce has been a particularly popular channel for beer lovers who are shopping for their next brew—opening up further sales channels for retailers and brands alike.

Beer Sales by the Numbers

Ultimately, beer brands are experiencing increased demand as consumers look for ways to pass the time (and hopefully have a little fun) during the COVID-19 period. Brands have an opportunity to attract new buyers while also maintaining current customer loyalty with consistent product availability and thoughtful marketing.

For further shopper behavior insights, contact us at [email protected].


1 Quotient Internal Reporting (June 22—June 28, 2020).
2 Quotient Internal Reporting (June 15—June 21, 2020).