Alcohol is the third biggest sales contributor by category within the convenience sector, so it deserves to receive attention from retailers.
As many as 54% of convenience shoppers drink alcohol at home once a week or more, and a further 20% say they do so every month. In addition, more than half (56%) entertain family/friends at home at least once a month.
So what's important to the beers, wines and spirits (BWS) shopper? It actually depends on the category value for money is the priority for beer shoppers; for wine shoppers it is product availability; while shop cleanliness comes top of the list for spirit shoppers. Interestingly, promotions do not feature in the top five most important features, although promotions do have a part to play in improving the value for money perception of a store.
Spirits have been performing solidly through c-stores 43% of c-store owners have seen sales rise year on year, with 36% saying they have remained the same.
Research tells us that 56% of spirits shoppers are buying them to share with others, 62% are buying for a quiet night in, and a further 13% for a specific social gathering.
As many as 37% will begin to consume their spirits within two hours of purchase, with a further 49% saying later today, therefore what is required is not heavy promotion as such, but more occasion-based merchandising, such as party packs, mixers, ice, lemons and limes, and discounted multi-buys for complementary products.
Immediate consumption is also a feature of the wine shopper. A third will start to consume their purchase within the next two hours, rising to 90% for the same day. Almost all will consume their wine at home, although 5% will do so at a friend's house, meaning that all wine that can be chilled, should be chilled. Promotions should encourage customers to trade up, and highlighting wine or Champagne as a gifting opportunity can also drive sales.
When it comes to beer, shoppers are generally loyal, but want value for money. Beer shoppers are visiting on average 4.8 times a week and are visiting for items when needed.
To sum up, it's important to cater for different occasions by pack format and offer effective occasion-based merchandising and promotions.