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Online alcohol sales are increasing

Online alcohol sales are increasing

From: FoodProcessing

Despite more consumers seeking healthy lifestyles, alcohol continues to be popular in China, France, the US and the UK. According to a consumer survey from the IWSR, China has the largest e-commerce market for alcoholic beverages at US$6.1 billion, but France and the UK have the most mature markets.

The results from the ‘IWSR Ecommerce Study: A strategic roadmap for alcoholic beverages’ show Chinese consumers spend four times more on online alcohol purchases than the US. Online alcohol sales are growing at around 15% per year in China, but the market is dominated by Tmall and JD, who have a combined share of over 70%.

While online sales in the US only make up 1% of off-premise beverage alcohol sales, they are growing rapidly. IWSR said this is due to increasing consumer demand and more relaxed state and federal restrictions on alcohol distribution out-of-state.

France and the UK were found to have the highest percentage of off-trade sales derived from e-commerce activity. France’s online share of off-premise alcohol sales is nearly 9% due to the development of the ‘click-and-drive’ model by major supermarkets such as E. Leclerc and Carrefour.

In the UK, consumers buy wine and beer relatively frequently as part of their online grocery shop, and the report named Tesco and Asda as leading players in online alcoholic drinks sales.

In most markets, the frequency of online purchasing is relatively low, with only China and the UK having more than 50% of consumers buying alcohol at least monthly. But those who do purchase alcohol are motivated more by convenience than price. Amazon has provided this convenience in a number of countries. The company already has more than 50% share in Germany and is strengthening its position in Japan, the UK, Spain and Italy.

Wine is the major alcoholic beverage category online, with 60–70% share of sales, but alcohol sales in general are likely to continue to grow across the 10 markets, according to the IWSR research. In more established markets like the UK and France, this growth is predicted to be 9–10% per annum, but the newer e-commerce markets have the most to gain with an expected growth of 20–40% per annum from 2017–2020.

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