| Sep 28, 2020

Shifting Promotional Strategies are Leading to Increased Spirit Sales

Quarantine has resulted in many people re-discovering old hobbies such as knitting or bread making, but there’s another classic past-time increasing in popularity throughout the pandemic: cocktail making. With bars and restaurants closed, or only open in a limited capacity, many have taken to imbibing in alcoholic beverages from the comfort of their homes, where they’re definitely on a first-name basis with the bartender and getting friendly pours.

Spirits shoppers are purchasing alcohol on a more frequent basis and spending more per trip when they do shop. But what’s influencing this rise in Spirits? While quarantine is certainly a factor, there are some shifts in promotional strategy occurring along the path-to-purchase that are also key ingredients in the mix.

A Rise in Spirits

According to Numerator Insights data, in the past 52 weeks we’ve seen an increase in key metrics for spirit sales. Buy rates for spirits were up from $172 to $190, driven by an increase in both purchase frequency and basket size.


It’s Happy Hour at Your Grocery Store

Promotions in the spirits category have increased by 6.9% over the past 12 months. The real change, however, has come in the location of these promotions. Front-page Spirits promotions have bubbled up even faster, with a 29.8% increase over the past 12 months. Southeastern Grocers, Publix, and Walgreens have led the charge in the increase of front-page spirits promotions, both in terms of volume—where they’ve increased category promotions by at least 700 promoted products— and percentage, where the front-page promotions across all retailers have risen by a minimum of 20% over the past year.


Promo and Purchase Data: Mix Equal Parts for the Perfect Insights Cocktail

Previously the analysis of shopper behavior and promotional strategy existed in a vacuum, similar to the insights featured above. With Numerator Promo Insights, a new solution that integrates our proprietary Numerator Promotions Intel data with verified purchase data in our Numerator Insights platform, Numerator can provide insights directly linking promotions to their resulting shopping behaviors.

The below example shows a Numerator Promo Insights analysis of the shopper metrics for off-promo, on-promo, and front-page promo spirits shoppers, down to the subcategory level—though data inside Numerator Promo Insights is available all the way down to the brand level. Over the past 52 weeks, we see that Buy Rates are higher across the Spirits category among shoppers who buy spirits when featured on promotion, and it increases even more for shoppers who purchase spirits featured on front-page promotions.


We see similar patterns for repeat purchases and average basket size. For Total Spirits, we see an increase in repeat purchases from 66% for buyers off-promo to 94% for buyers on front-page promo, while average basket size jumps from $66.49 to $72.54, respectively. With this new combined analysis, we can easily quantify the impact of spirit promotions (and their placement) on shopper behavior and understand the increased value that spirit promo shoppers provide.

The Numerator Promo Insights solution helps brands efficiently optimize their promotions strategy by better identifying the promotional characteristics that drive purchase behavior, understand which shoppers are motivated by promotions, and quickly diagnose the impact of promotional activity on shopper metrics. To learn more about Numerator Promo Insights, reach out to your Numerator customer success team or drop us a line—we’re here to help!