[:en]Beer May Be Just What Your C-Store Needs More Of[:]

[:en]No doubt about it. C-Store sales have stagnated for the moment.

Which, given the chaos the coronavirus pandemic has caused, may actually not be too bad of an outcome.

The latest two-week report from PDI and NACS shows year-over-year trips to c-stores dipped only slightly lower – down 13.4% for the two weeks ending August 9th versus 13.2% for the two weeks ending July 26th.

And spend per transaction has seen a similar trend: up 21.5% for the two weeks ending July 26th versus being up 20.9% for the two weeks ending July 12th.

For the past two weeks, beer is the only product category operating in the black. Wine and liquor have seen positive growth on a year-over-year basis.

So, for whatever reason, consumers happily continue to spend their hard-earned dollars on beer.

How do you make the most of beer sales, seeing as they’re the major positive for c-stores right now?

Follow these tips:

1. Occasion Drives Consumer Choice

Consumers currently buy beer to take home for an occasion. Obviously, this does get driven by the coronavirus pandemic.

The occasion can be to simply stock their fridge, relax alone after a long day, hang out with a few close friends, or to spend time with family.

Rather than go out, which many consumers do happily, most prefer to stay home and enjoy a cold drink.

2. Which Beer Product Segments Do Consumers Favor?

Interestingly, consumers are buying across all beer segments, according to data from Molson-Coors.

78% of consumers buy across all segments.

And they do so with the deciding factor being the occasion for which the beer will be used.

3. Hard Seltzers Have Seen Nice Growth

Prior to the pandemic, hard seltzers saw 408% sales growth in 2019. Consumers aren’t necessarily making a switch from beer to hard seltzer, however.

75% of hard seltzer drinkers also buy beer.

That hard seltzer sales growth remains true here during the coronavirus pandemic.

Of all alcoholic drink categories, they have seen the largest growth lately.

4. New Beers Are Interesting, But…

50% of the growth of beer sales is due to new beer products.

However, 66% of new beers do not make it past year two. And 75% fail at the three-year mark.

So, innovation absolutely works.

But you have to understand exactly what about various beers keeps market attention long-term.

5. Online Alcohol Sales Are Exploding

Odd as it seems to buy beer over the internet, consumers are doing it. In fact, online alcohol sales have grown 114% over the previous year.

And with the pandemic having no end in near sight, it’s easy to expect this will continue for the foreseeable future.

Anyway, that’s roughly how beer sales are working here during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What did you learn? And how will that affect your beer sales strategy?[:]