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Wine most popular online drinks purchase

Published:  24 February, 2021

Wine has been pinpointed as the most popular e-commerce purchase during the Covid pandemic.

According to CGA research, more than half (53%) of consumers have bought wine online during the pandemic —twice as many as have purchased lager (26%) and gin (24%). 

Completing the list of the top five most wanted drinks in e-commerce, soft drinks accounted for 21% and craft beer for 20%, the The Future of E-commerce report found.

In addition, it suggested online drinks sales were driven by older adults who are missing their regular on-trade visits, with more than a quarter (28%) of on-trade consumers having bought alcohol online in December 2020, up by three percentage points since August. 

Of these, three in 10 (30%) had never done so prior to the pandemic, confirming that lockdowns have released a wave of new online purchasers.

The report, which is based on surveys tracking the behaviour of more than 10,000 people over six months, also found that nearly half (46%) of customers said they drink out at least weekly when they are able to do so—13 percentage points above the national average (33%)—and nearly three quarters (72%) continued to order alcohol online after the end of the last lockdown.

Moreover, two thirds (66%) of consumers buying wine online said they were “very likely” to continue do so in the future.

“After a bumper 2020 for e-commerce, this is set to be another strong year for online drinks sales—even once pubs, bars and restaurants reopen,” said Hannah Payne, CGA’s consumer research manager. 

The research also highlighted the rising popularity of alcohol delivery subscriptions, stating that more than a quarter (27%) of consumers buying alcohol online now having a subscription, and nearly half (44%) of them having signed up to one since the first lockdown in March.

“While big retailers and familiar brands continue to dominate, the rapid rise of subscriptions and specialist sites shows there is plenty of headroom for growth in this space,” said Payne, adding it would be “fascinating to watch the further evolution in this dynamic part of the market” when the on-trade reopens.

“For retailers and suppliers, understanding audiences, leveraging special offers and encouraging experimentation and trade-ups will all be important.”

Earlier this month, CGA’s 2021 Hospitality Consumer Forecast found that lockdown is giving the on-trade and suppliers a chance to claim share of the delivered drinks market from supermarkets.