Hard Cider and Budget Beer Power Record Sales in Grocer Retail Business

Liquor and beer buoy grocery sales - Courtesy

By Ellen Page

Grocer retail sales hit a high mark in the first week of June, led by hard cider, beer and liquor purchases across the belts in the U.S.

As a pandemic lockdown seemingly loosened, but protesting in mass gatherings were on the rise, grocers saw record revenue as people wanted to “chill out” and get away from bad news, sources said.

Wal-Mart posted a 74 percent increase in third quarter earnings in online, but in-person shopping has increased as well. Wal-Mart showed revenue growth of nearly 9 percent  and comparable sales up 10 percent.

But it’s the flavored seltzer, the budget beer and  imported beer that has led the market since March 7. Since that time, alcohol sales grew 27 percent, according to Nielsen, but most of the sales came in domestic beers and spiked seltzer. The rise in spiked seltzer can also be in part due to more younger women making the purchases. Flavored hard cider has had a hard time catching on, but with summer on the horizon and a lockdown seemingly coming to an end across the U.S. the spiked seltzer could see a nice lift going into the beach season.

But it will be hard for any brand to take down White Claw and Truly which sit atop the throne among the flavored seltzers. Together the two have a combined market share of 77 percent and other brands — Corona Seltzer, Bud Light Seltzer, and Smirnoff — only comprise 16 percent of sales, Nielsen info indicates.

White Claw, produced by Mike’s Hard Lemonade-maker, Mark Anthony Brands, is gearing up for summer by introducing new flavors including tangerine, watermelon and lemon.

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