Alcohol Volumes Fall

Dec 12, 2013 Industry News
Industry News

As GuestMetrics reported earlier in the week, traffic trends to all three channels in on-premise deteriorated during the 4-week period ending 12/1/13, and not surprisingly, alcohol trends have also weakened:

  • On-premise alcohol volumes were -3.7 percent during 3Q, improved to -2.8 percent during the recent 4 weeks ending November 3rd, but fell to -4.2 percent during the 4 weeks ending December 1st, matching their weakest level of ‘13.  In terms of the specific alcohol categories:
    • Beer:  Beer volumes were -4.9 percent in 3Q (weakest quarter of the year), improved slightly to -4.0 percent during the 4 weeks ending 11/03, but fell to -5.5 percent during the 4 weeks ending 12/01, their weakest level of any 4-week period in the year.  Comparing y/y volume growth for the last two 4-week periods, the deterioration was driven primarily by bars/clubs and casual dining:  in bars/clubs, beer volumes fell from -5.9 percent to -6.3 percent; in casual dining, fell from -4.0 percent to -6.1 percent; and in fine dining, showed a slight improvement from -2.0 percent to -1.5 percent.
    • Spirits:  Spirits volumes were -3.0 percent in 3Q (their weakest quarter of the year), improved slightly to -2.3 percent during the 4 weeks ending 11/03, but fell to -3.8 percent during the 4 weeks ending 12/01, close to their weakest level of any 4-week period in the year (only February was weaker).  Comparing y/y volume growth for the last two 4-week periods, the majority of the deterioration in spirits volumes was driven by the casual dining channel:  in bars/clubs, spirits volumes improved from -4.3 percent to -3.6 percent; in casual dining, weakened from -3.1 percent to -5.1 percent; in fine dining, showed a slight softening from +1.1 percent to +0.4 percent.
    • Wine:  Wine volumes were -1.3 percent in 3Q (weakest quarter of the year), improved slightly to -0.5 percent during the 4 weeks ending 11/03, but fell to -1.6 percent during the 4 weeks ending 12/01.  Comparing y/y volume growth for the last two 4-week periods:  in bars/clubs, wine volumes weakened from -3.7 percent to -5.3 percent (though should be noted bars/clubs are very small channel for wine, accounting for just 4 percent of wine volumes); in casual dining, weakened from -0.4 percent to -1.9 percent; in fine dining, showed a slight downtick from -0.2 percent to -0.6 percent.
  • Given the observed overall retail sales and consumer discretionary spending weak in November, it will be particularly important to monitor whether there is any type of turn-around in the coming weeks as we head further into the critical holiday season.
News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.