And the 10pm curfew is fuelling yet more demand according to one UK bottler, which is reporting a spike in demand following the introduction of the curfew last week
A 36% rise in takeaway alcohol sales has been reported from new figures compiled by Just Eat and City Pantry. While this increase could be attributed to more at-home consumption due to people being unable to visit the pub, it’s also likely to be due to more providers adding alcohol products to their takeaway menus than before the pandemic, the companies said in a statement.
Northern Ireland saw the biggest sales increase with orders for takeaway alcohol up 9.3%, followed by the East of England with 7.7% and the East Midlands at 6.4%. The West Midlands (3.5%) and the North West (3.8%) saw the lowest rise.
Alcohol sales were not the only takeaway habit that increased during lockdown, however - dessert orders have risen by a whopping 151% in Wales and 141% in the East of England, while the average takeaway order value is now 10% higher than before lockdown.
Northern Ireland saw the biggest sales increase with orders for takeaway alcohol up 9.3%, followed by the East of England with 7.7%
Meanwhile, drinks packaging company Alcohol Solutions says says it has experienced a 30% increase in enquiries for its canning and bottling facilities since the curfew was imposed last week.
Demand is coming from pubs, bars and restaurants looking to offer takeaway drinks; supermarkets and off-licences that are stocking up to meet demand from people wanting to have a nightcap at home, and online retailers ‘gearing up for another wave of panic buying booze ahead of the festive season,’ explained co-founder and director Graham Gibson.
‘As a nation we are going to experience a very different kind of Christmas this year,’ he said.
‘Christmas parties will be virtual, last orders earlier and traditional drinking occasions like markets will be tightly regulated if not cancelled - all guaranteeing a continuation of the at-home drinking trend. Brands need to be prepared, both to fulfil their off-trade demand and, since the introduction of the 10pm curfew, the increased on-trade demand that we’re seeing for spirits & RTD beverages.’
The Manchester-based company, which also develops new drinks as well as packaging existing brands, is also reporting a rise in popularity of more premium and uniquely flavoured spirits following a period where drinkers have been experimenting at home.