Following the closure of many on-trade bars, pubs and restaurants across the world, shops which sell wine and other alcoholic beverages are seeing a dramatic uplift in sales as consumers seek to enjoy a drink at home.
One alcohol delivery service, Drizly, based in Boston MA, have stated that earlier this month the announcement of a lock-down led to the biggest day of sales on record, outstripping otherwise busy periods such as New Years Eve and Halloween.
Meanwhile in the United Kingdom, the government specifically added provision for shops selling alcohol to stay open within the coronavirus lock-down rules.
Kent based winemaker and drinks company Chapel Down have seen sales in supermarkets and off licences grow substantially and direct online sales multiply dramatically as their customers seek to continue to enjoy their brands at home. Chapel Down report that on the current sales trajectory, their sales to consumers enjoying the drinks at home could more than make up for their loss of trade to licenced venues.
However, some nations have taken their lock-down further, effectively introducing a period of prohibition. South Africa, although continuing to harvest and produce wine, have introduced a ban on the purchase of both alcohol and tobacco in a bid to curtail incidence of domestic violence and to improve personal hygiene, adherence to social distancing measures and to mass-protect the nation’s immune systems.
The department of Aisne in northern France began with a similar approach but faced huge backlash from residents, forcing them to lift the ban and allow the purchase and consumption of alcohol.
Current trends suggest that widespread abstinence is unlikely. The wine market has been described in the past as recession-resistant — people like to enjoy a glass as much in good times as they do in bad times.
With many large-scale businesses rapidly adapting to this shift in demand, we hope that smaller, artisan and local producers do not neglect this opportunity to shield their businesses from the impacts of the virus. After all, when this is over, we are all going to need a drink to celebrate!
Main image: Malbec Wines from Mendoza’s Vineyards, Pilot Productions
By Sofi Summers