Has The Recession Forced You To Swap Stoli For Swill?

The old adage about booze being recession-proof may have some truth to it: alcohol sales are up 2% over the past year. Not surprisingly, the cheap stuff is leading the way, with sales of private-label wine — no, that’s not the stuff you brew in your backyard — up 20%. And more people are shunning bars and restaurants, opting instead for the comfort of a brown paper bag and the neighborhood stoop.

According to Nielsen data quoted by Retailer Daily, 68% of consumers are cutting back on “fine dining” and 59% are spending less time in bars, opting instead for the “trend toward in-home entertaining” (that part about the stoop is what’s known in the data biz as “extrapolation”). That’s contributed to the closure of almost a thousand bars and clubs over the past year, but has helped to fuel to a boom year for convenience stores, drug stores and mass retailers.

For the 26-week period ended August 22, 2009, domestic wine sales rose 5%, domestic vodka sales rose 8.1%, and domestic beer sales rose 3.2% compared to the same period a year earlier. According to Nielsen, compared to imports the average price of domestic wine is 25% cheaper, the average price of domestic vodka is 50% cheaper and the average price of domestic beer is 35% cheaper. In addition, for the 52-week period ended August 22, 2009, private label wine sales grew more than 20% and private label spirits sales grew more than 10% compared to the same period a year earlier.

So, have you switched from swish to swill? Or have you finally realized that all vodka tastes the same? Share your recession drinking tips in the comments.

Consumers Seek Alcohol Savings [Retailer Daily]

(Photo: Maulleigh)