DtC Shipments Continue to Increase as Buying Channels Shift

Delaney McDonald
May 5, 2020

The direct-to-consumer wine shipping channel continues to grow each year, with a 7.4 percent increase in value and 4.7 percent increase in volume in 2019. But starting mid-March 2020, as the pandemic progressed, and buying patterns shifted to rely heavily on ecommerce, we’ve seen a significant spike in growth over last year’s numbers. The DtC channel continues to provide an alternative way for consumers to get their favorite wines, especially right now, as many retailers are closed. Based on data from Sovos ShipCompliant, Wine Vines Analytics and Nielsen, here is a snapshot of how the DtC wine channel has changed as a result of shelter-in-place orders:

  • Compared to 2019 data, in the first week of April 2020 volume (liters) of wine shipped increased 139 percent, the number of shipments increased 30 percent and the value of shipments increased 102 percent.
  • In April 2020, the top ship-to states by volume shipped were California, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York and Florida. Pennsylvania is a new addition to the top five from 2019, taking Illinois off the list.
  • All price points of wine bottles, except those $150 or more per bottle, registered double-digit lifts in off-premise sales.
  • The off-premise sale of 3L wine boxes has increased 82 percent.
  • Online sales of all alcoholic beverages continued to climb with increases of 246 percent through March 21, 291 percent through March 28, and 441 percent through April 4.
  • DtC wine shipments in March 2020 increased 18 percent in value and 30 percent by volume over the year prior.
  • March 2020 shipment levels were in the range of what would be typically sold during the highest selling months of October and November. 

The trends that we’re seeing in the past month and a half could have lasting effects on the beverage alcohol industry, long after shelter-in-place orders have been lifted. Consumers may continue to rely on ecommerce for their beverage alcohol purchases after traditional retailers reopen. Also, the temporary changes to beverage alcohol regulations in participating states could become permanent, or at least help pave the way for new, less restrictive rules and regulations to be adopted in the future.

For more data and information regarding the DtC wine shipping channel, download the free 2020 Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report today.

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Delaney McDonald

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