It will likely come as no surprise that alcohol consumption in general has increased noticeably since the Covid-19 pandemic began last spring. What you may not know is that we are not only consuming more alcohol, but the way in which we purchase alcohol has changed dramatically during the pandemic. The team at Cheers All explains how the pandemic has impacted the beer industry and why that should matter to you.
The Rapid Growth in E-Commerce
By early last April (2019) the majority of the country was in lockdown. We were told we could only leave our homes for essential travel -- work, doctor appointments, or to buy essential supplies. Many Americans turned to the internet for those “essential supplies,” causing 10 years’ worth of growth in e-commerce in just three months (March-May). Not only were we having milk and toilet paper (if you could find it) delivered, but the laws prohibiting alcohol delivery were suspended in many places as well. For example, in May, Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted the state’s prohibition against alcohol delivery and added "I allowed [bars and restaurants] to deliver alcohol, I think that's been pretty popular, we're probably going to keep that going," Phone apps popped up that connect consumers with local liquor stores for home delivery. Suddenly we could order a case of beer and have it delivered right to the front door. More importantly, industry experts tell us that the pandemic has likely forever changed how we purchase that case of beer.
Alcohol Sales during the Pandemic
Stuck at home? Furloughed from work? Trying to homeschool your children? Any one of these could easily explain the increase in alcohol sales in 2020. What may surprise you is just how much of an increase the industry saw in 2020. The market research firm IWSR, which provides insights on the global alcoholic beverage market, predicted online sales of alcohol in the U.S. to grow by more than 80% in 2020, approaching $5.6 billion. By comparison, those same sales came at just $3 billion for 2019. As a result of the increase in sales, the value of alcohol e-commerce will increase by more than 40 percent across ten core markets (Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK, and the U.S) almost quadrupling the value of growth from 2019.
Online Alcohol Sales Are Here to Stay
According to IWSR’s strategic insights manager Guy Wolfe, “Consumers’ increasing proclivity for online purchasing has been driven by necessity in recent months, but these purchasing behaviors are here to stay.” In 2019, alcohol sold online represented just one percent of total off-premises volume. By 2024, IWSR predicts that seven percent of alcohol sales will occur online, hopefully long after the pandemic has ended. In the short-term, The U.S. is expected to overtake China as the largest alcohol e-commerce market in the world by the end of this year.
Americans have quickly adapted to not just working from home but to online ordering of everything from basic supplies to alcohol. Although we are starting to see some light at the end of the proverbial tunnel where the pandemic is concerned, our newfound reliance on e-commerce is likely here to stay – including the way in which we purchase our favorite craft beer.
If you are a craft beer drinker, visit the Cheers All website to purchase glassware and other merchandise geared toward beer lovers.