April 10, 2020

NY Says Liquor is Essential; Shoppers Seem to Agree

As COVID-19 continues to rule the way we live across the US – many states are requiring all non-essential businesses, including bars, restaurants, and retail stores, to shut down. In New York, however, liquor stores are notably excluded from the rule.

But do shoppers actually consider spirits as an “essential” during the pandemic? And how have consumer drinking habits changed as #StayatHome becomes the new norm?

AdAdapted examined the list data of millions of shoppers to see who’s drinking, what they’re drinking and how much. Here’s what we found.

What we know: Drinks are flowing at home bars…

Insight #1: Shoppers are drinking more of everything.

Beer, wine, liquor….you name the category of booze and we’ll show you a spike in list activity since COVID-19 #StayatHome began.

#2: The #StayAtHome shopper is not discerning.

Unlike New Years Eve and the Super Bowl where there will be friends and family judging the quality of the drinks being served, there’s no one to impress when you’re buying for your personal quarantine stash.

Check out the graphs below for Bud Light and Coors Light. Both brands are seeing an increase due to the pandemic. However, this is similar or even less significant as what they saw during the SuperBowl.

Compare this to the word “Booze”. “Booze” is just a shorthand reminder to make sure the shoppers go to this section of the store and buy something to imbibe later. This item tends to indicate a decision will be made at shelf versus the need to remember a specific brand.

Insight #3: The tap isn’t slowing down.

Everyone, including the AdAdapted team, is looking for signs that things are getting back to normal. In this case though, the list activity we are seeing indicates shoppers are continuing to stock their home bars at accelerating rates.

The list data we are monitoring indicates a sharp increase in planning, buying, and consumption of alcohol. This matches up with other data sets, including a recent Nielsen report that shows a 55% increase in liquor sales as mentioned in this article https://www.newsweek.com/us-alcohol-sales-increase-55-percent-one-week-amid-coronavirus-pandemic-1495510).

Furthermore, if you need some inspiration on a great quarantine cocktail, please take a look at the following video from the lovely Julie Burke.

Stay healthy and cheers to all those enjoying their Friday #quaratini.

Stay up to date on the latest in CPG Advertising