SipSource Issues First-Quarter Data, Predicts Post-COVID-19 Consumer Trends, Tracks On-Premise Progress

SipSource, the first and only source for wine and spirits distributor depletion data that covers sales to a large number of on-premise and off-premise accounts, announced the issuance of its 2021 First-Quarter Report that identifies wine and spirits trends, and, for the first time, explores comparative commercial and consumer trends as the country emerges from COVID-19 consumer behaviors. The 2021 Q1 SipSource Report focuses on data over a 12-month period (April 2020 – March 2021) and predicts what post-pandemic consumer trends will bring to both the on- and off-premise.sipsource cocktail

“The first four months of 2021 have seen significant progress on the reopening of on-premise accounts,” said SipSource Analyst and industry veteran Dale Stratton. “At the end of April there were 286,604 open on-premise accounts, which means nearly half of accounts lost in 2020 have either been reactivated or replaced. This is an increase of 72,218 reopened accounts since December 2020. This leaves roughly 72,304 needed to open to get back to pre-pandemic levels.”

The report goes on to detail on-premise reactivations from a geographic standpoint, as well as highlight the incredible growth of the ready-to-drink category, including in the on-premise.

The Pacific and Northeastern divisions accounted for the highest percentage of closed accounts in 2020 (-61 percent and -46.9 percent, respectively) and maintain the slowest growth as of April 2021, still accounting for -14.7 percent and -14.0 percent closure rates as compared to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile the South Central and South Atlantic divisions, which accounted for the lowest account closure rates in 2020 (-27.3 percent and -26.6 percent, respectively) have seen growth of up +25.5 percent and +17.4 percent, respectively.

In both the on- and off-premise sectors the Premixed Cocktail category continues to gain incredible momentum, up +73.1 percent. Stratton additionally highlights the Premixed Cocktail category as “the only segment that is experiencing growth in the on-premise” meaning it is likely that you’ll be able to find a pre-mixed cocktail on the menu of your favorite restaurant when it reopens. Stratton attributes the growth to the fact that “these products offer a great vehicle to reduce complexity and expand services” as dining rooms reopen and staffing concerns continue to impact the hospitality industry.

Finally, the report highlights key consumer trends over the past year:

Wine – After A Year of Growth, Negative Trend Picks Back Up

“We expected to see continued momentum gains in the off-premise until the April reporting period, but after celebrating a full year of growth in 2020, the wine category is back into negative territory, down –0.6 percent at the end of Q1 2021. After gaining significant momentum in the off-premise, growth dropped from +9.0% at the end of December 2020 to only +7.3 percent at the end of March 2021. In the on-premise, trends have likely bottomed out at –55.2 percent (February 2021) and should begin to grow in strength in the coming months,” said Stratton.

Spirits – Fly over States Drive Category Growth

“All geographies are experience growth, with the center of the country contributing heavily to that increase. The East North Central division has the highest growth, at +11.0 percent with the South Central division following at +8.4 percent. Growth has accelerated over the last three months in all geographies as we head into very strong comparisons with Q2 2020,” said Stratton.