Report: Online alcohol sales set to take off for brands, grocers and pure-play sellers – Food Dive

Dive Brief:

As online grocery shopping continues to grow, so will online alcohol sales, according to a recent report from Rabobank and cited by Supermarket News. Rabobank analysts reported U.S. online alcohol sales hit $1.7 billion last year, a relatively small total dollar value, but that growth in online channels is outpacing that of brick-and-mortar retailers.

Off-premises alcohol sales posted a CAGR of 1.44% from 2013 to 2017, according to IRI data, while winery website sales quadrupled and on-demand delivery apps went from zero in 2013 to processing more than $100 million in annual sales in 2017, Rabobank stated.

Nick Rellas, co-founder and CEO of Drizly, the country’s largest on-demand alcohol delivery service, told The Spirits Business in 2016 that alcohol sold online will be worth $7 billion to $15 billion each year “over the next few years.” Rabobank’s report also noted that alcohol brands have a dozen online channels they can use, and that each of them will impact brands with a different level of success.

Dive Insight:

When buying groceries online, shoppers can now add beer, wine or spirits to the total and conveniently have the items delivered or pick them up. The Rabobank research analysts noted that Amazon’s alcohol sales skyrocketed by 230% in Germany and by 96% in the U.K. last year, and that 34% of beer drinkers in the U.K. routinely get their favorite beverage online.

​After launching online alcohol ordering and delivery in London, Amazon is now offering alcohol delivery in Seattle, Portland, Cincinnati and Columbus and several other cities through its Prime Now service, which includes free two-hour delivery of groceries and alcohol. Of course, e-commerce alcohol retailers must adhere to the same minimum age laws and other state and local restrictions as any other alcohol retailers.

Alcohol makers, grocers and online-only sellers

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