Covid gains for convenience

Off trade thrives as shoppers stay home


CONVENIENCE stores have been smashing the competition when it comes to spirits sales, as more consumers shop local during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nielsen Total Till Data for the four weeks to 13 June, provided by Mangrove UK, revealed that sales increased 17% during the period, with nearly one quarter of consumers shopping regularly at their local convenience store.

Tim Dunlop, regional account manager at Mangrove UK highlighted “entry level” vodka and gin brands as strong beneficiaries at the start of lockdown, with consumers stocking up to have drinks at home.

However, premium is picking back up according to Dunlop, as some consumers gain more clarity about their financial position.

“For vodka, we are seeing a rise in the volume of people searching for higher quality products with provenance, that offer a better drinking experience, such as Black Cow Vodka, made from milk, and in particular its Strawberries and Cream Limited Edition,” he said.

“Another quality option at a c-store price point is Belenkya Gold, the number one vodka in Russia, currently ranked 11th globally in terms of volume. Retailing between £17.00 and £21.00, it is offering convenience grocery a good alternative to some of the more mainstream brands for consumers who want a quality offering at a value-for-money price.”

Looking to the future, Dunlop predicted a revival for “proper gin” over the flavoured alternatives which have been gaining ground in the category.

“I’m anticipating a resurgence in interest for quality, proper gin as there starts to be a backlash from the sugar loaded, artificially flavoured and coloured gins that have been trending recently,” he said.