• Mary O Sullivan

Global Trends during Covid for the Drinks Industry

According to AB InBev the first quarter of 2020 has has losses of volume of over 9% in beer sales, with a revenue decline of almost 6%. They are forecasting Q2 to be substantially worse as sales dropped a precipitous 32%, mainly attributed to losses of on-premises sales. Conversely, in China, declines of 17% in April, are an improvement on Q1 losses of over 46%, as the market partially reopened.

For Diageo, their sales through bars and restaurants are worth approximately 20% in the US and ~50% in Europe. In the Indian market, both the on and off-trade have been impacted by a 3 week lockdown that shut both them, and all production facilites. Two of their production facilities in Nigeria have been forced to close, and South Africa had a three week shutdown that included a ban on sales of alcohol. They have not released any figures on loss of sales, but instead issued a bond worth £1.9 billion.

Heineken reported a 14% decline in March, but are reporting that they are more concerned with getting their facilities up and running at capacity to meet consumer demand for when restrictions are lifted.

Despite this optimistic viewpoint, or perhaps because of it, brands are going to have to pivot and tighten their belts to weather the Pandemic.

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