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Master of Malt reveals changing UK drinking habits amid lockdown
Master of Malt
06 April 2020 Multi-award-winning online retailer Master of Malt has identified changing drinks trends as the UK adapts to life under lockdown.

Leading drinks eCommerce platform Master of Malt is tracking the changing shift in consumer drinks purchasing habits as the UK government continues its lockdown approach to fighting the Covid-19 crisis. 

Master of Malt remains open and running as usual, and recorded an order number uplift of almost 200% from 23-29 March, the first week that the stricter social distancing measures came into force in the UK.

With the population unable to leave the house except for essential grocery shopping, exercise and to assist others in an emergency, more shoppers are turning to eCommerce to purchase alcohol. 

The volume category mix has shifted significantly from the traditional spirit-dominated top ten. Beer has leapfrogged to third place as volumes soar, dominating six of the top 10 best-selling SKU places. 

There has also been increased retail sales of pre-bottled cocktails, bitters and vermouth, as people try and recreate a bar drinking experience with at-home serves. 

“Like the rest of the world, we find ourselves in an unprecedented situation,” said Jason Hockman, Master of Malt general manager. 

“All bars and restaurants are closed, and many grocers are limiting the amount of alcohol customers can purchase. The eCommerce channel is playing a vital role across FMCG to keep people safe in their homes, and the online alcohol business is no different.

“As such, we’ve seen a significant shift in what people are purchasing. Beer volumes have exploded, and we’ve also seen increased sales for pre-bottled cocktails, vermouth and wine. We’re working with our suppliers to keep these lines in stock, and with our valued logistics partners to keep the orders flowing.

“We’re traditionally a spirits-based business, and our regular customers can rest assured we’re also keeping a close eye on our specialist whisky and gin expressions to make sure everyone can still get their favourite bottle at this difficult time.”

Top drinks categories by volume from 23-29 March
  1. Whiskies
  2. Gin
  3. Beer
  4. Rum
  5. Liqueurs
  6. Vodka
  7. Wine
  8. Vermouth
  9. Pre-bottled cocktails
  10. Bitters

Last month, Master of Malt announced it was donating £1 for every order placed through the site to help people who have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 crisis through a partnership with hospitalityaction.org.uk.

Parent company Atom Group has also introduced an early payment programme to help small suppliers with cash flow during this difficult time.

Master of Malt’s regular Trends Bulletin will return later this month.

As always, if we can assist with anything you’re working on at this time, please feel free to reach out.