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NATIONAL REPORT — Convenience stores are more commonly seen as a destination for beer and malt beverages over other forms of alcohol, but sales of wine and liquor in the channel are seeing significant growth, according to new data and analysis provided to Convenience Store News by Nielsen.
During the 52 weeks ended March 12, c-store dollar sales of wine grew 9.5 percent, while unit volume increased by 8.2 percent. The Northeast in particular saw strong growth as this region had more than double the sales improvement of any other U.S. region, at 19.5-percent growth for dollar sales and 16.5 percent for unit sales.
Despite this, the South continues to be the largest sales region for c-store wine at more than $370 million in dollar sales. The West is a distant second with sales of $166 million.
Comparing the various segments within the wine category at convenience stores, champagne/sparkling wine saw substantial sales growth of 17.4 percent over the 52-week period analyzed by Nielsen. On the other end of the spectrum, coolers/wine cocktails and fortified wine experienced decreases of 7.2 percent and 14.1 percent, respectively.
Switching gears to liquor, c-store sales grew for the second straight year with a dollar sales increase of 13.4 percent over the 52 weeks. This was up from the 11.6-percent sales increase from the previous 52 weeks. In this category, cocktail mixes at c-stores saw a sales decrease of 1 percent. The Midwest dominates other regions of the country at almost $400 million in c-store liquor sales.
Nielsen Holdings plc is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy.