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Grocery BWS sales boom continues

Published:  02 March, 2021

Alcohol sales in the grocery sector continue to grow with sales up 33% in February boosted by the closure of the on-trade sector with the Covid-19 lockdown.  

According to statistics from Kantar, sales of alcohol in the grocery channel grew by £300m to over £1.2bn in the four weeks to 21 February 2021. 

This followed a similar trend in January, which saw alcohol sales in the grocery sector grow overall by 29%, also boosted by the closure of the on-trade sector. 

There was growth in all alcohol categories, including wines and spirits in February, Kantar said. 

The biggest growth was in beer, which was up by 44%, or £71m, while sales of still and sparkling wine (excluding fortified) were up 27%, or £115m. Rum sales also saw a boost at a growth of 57% or £13m.  

Flavoured alcoholic beverages were up 53% as young people continued to drink at home in lockdown, Kantar revealed. 

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “The growth rate in grocery has accelerated in all categories. The reason for this is because it is a full month where everyone has been in full lockdown.” 

He added that alcohol sales also received a boost due to Valentine's Day which saw people celebrate at home rather than go out to a pub or restaurant. 

McKevitt added that the pandemic had changed the way that people had been shopping for a year, including their purchasing of alcohol. 

Shoppers spent £15.2bn more on groceries during the pandemic, which equates to around £4,800 per household on average, an increase of £500 compared with normal times. 

Online grocery sales reached a new record share in the four weeks to 21 February accounting for 15.4% of sales, up from 8.7% last year.