These were amongst the observations forming part of ‘Kantar’s Christmas Review 2021’, an online webinar held recently.
Kantar’s Business Development Director Emer Healy pointed out that alcohol constituted a key category in Christmas purchasing this year but it failed to match the record growth of Christmas 2020.
Alcohol’s sales fell 7.8% in volume and by 16.6% in value in the four weeks to the 26th of December compared to the similar period in 2020 according to Kantar’s figures.
In the weeks leading up to the 25th of December, she stated that stocking-up for the big day was evident across “alcohol & ‘niceties’”.
Nevertheless, alcohol’s market penetration declined 3.5% to 73.7% of households in the four-week period to the 26th of December last Christmas seeing the lowest penetration rate in four years where alcohol penetration of households stood at 76.4% in December 2020 (and 75.5% in December 2019).
But compared to the same period pre-Covid, alcohol values were up 10.9% with volumes up 31.2%.
“While not everyone got ‘merry’ this Christmas, we’re still seeing huge growth on pre-Covid statistics,” said Emer Healy.
Spirits came out as the top category in the alcohol sector in the lead-up to the day itself, although more consumers were sampling non-alcohol beers this year with 6% of households having bought non-alcoholic beverages, a 43% rise over the previous year. Kantar found that some €88,000 had moved into non-alcoholic beers from the Beer & Cider category. Where spirits gained an extra €1.4 million spend (to the detriment of the wine category), The Beer & Cider category also saw a loss of €246,000 to the Sparkling Wine category.