Recent years have seen a rise in dry lifestyles, with health-conscious consumers fueling a steady procession of sophisticated mocktails and alcohol-free bars as they turned away from alcohol. But now, in a swift reversal of the teetotal trend, liquor sales are shooting up as consumers increasingly indulge, in search of escape or entertainment.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol sales are skyrocketing. In New York City, liquor store sales have increased by over 20% during the coronavirus crisis; for the week of March 8 to March 14, 2020, off-premise (grocery and liquor store) sales were up nearly 28% for wine, just over 26% for spirits, and 14% for beer, cider, and malt beverages compared to 2019 sales, according to Nielsen data. Alcohol delivery sales in particular are seeing astonishing growth. Eater reports that online wine marketplace Vivino clocked record sales in March 2020, with 300% growth in sales internationally; sales at the Drizly online liquor store also rose 300% in March 2020, compared to earlier in the year; Gary’s Wine & Marketplace likewise saw a 300% increase in local delivery across its five locations in New Jersey and California; and delivery sales at Liquor Barn, the leading alcohol retailer in Kentucky, climbed a whopping 600%.