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Catalina Data Suggests St. Patrick’s Alcohol Sales Will Surge


St. Petersburg, Florida-based Catalina has tapped into its Buyer Intelligence Platform to determine how the on-going COVID-19 pandemic has impacted alcohol purchases at grocery stores across the country for St. Patrick’s Day – and how sales are likely to fare in 2022.

Catalina helps retailers, CPG brands and agencies optimize every stage of media planning, execution and measurement to deliver $6.1 billion in consumer value annually.

With panic buying starting in March 2020 as COVID-19 lockdowns began, in-store alcohol sales around St. Patrick’s Day surged. One year later, alcohol sales in most categories declined on a percentage basis versus 2020, but they still posted a 20 percent increase overall compared to the last “regular” St. Patrick’s Day celebrated in 2019. The exception is the pre-mixed cocktails/cooler category which has experienced an ongoing sales boom.

In looking at recent sales trends for the four weeks ending March 4, total alcohol sales are trending about flat versus last year. As such, Catalina predicts St. Patrick’s Day week in 2022 will be comparable to last year. For comparison, alcohol sales for the Big Game week this year were down about 2 percent versus the Big Game week last year.

However, compared to the same pre-pandemic period in 2019, alcohol sales continue to be higher. That is why Catalina estimates St. Patrick’s Day week this year will be 5-15 percent higher than 2019 levels, with beer leading the way.


“It makes sense that sales of adult beverages were up in 2021 compared to the last pre-pandemic St. Patrick’s Day holiday since many public gathering places last year still faced COVID restrictions. Add to that, many people were still uncomfortable gathering indoors – and they weren’t keen on drinking or dining outdoors at the tail end of winter – hence many chose to celebrate at home,” said Sean Murphy, chief data and analytics officer for Catalina.

Murphy stated that with the National Retail Federation’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Survey showing that 19 percent of respondents plan to celebrate at a bar or restaurant this year – compared to 10 percent a year ago – 25 percent of respondents are still planning to host or attend larger private gatherings, compared to 21 percent last year.

“That’s why we anticipate in-store liquor sales this year will still be higher than 2019, even with a corresponding uptick at bars and restaurants,” Murphy said.

To learn more, visit catalina.com.

Catalina Data has recently released data reporting that private brands outpace CPG brands. To read the full story from The Shelby Report, click here.

After the past two years of uncertainty and changed plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we all hoped that 2022 might bring back a sense of normalcy.

However, with government and independent data confirming 40 years of inflation highs and Wall Street entering a bear market, grocers now have new challenges to face.

In this webinar, we will hear from Todd Taylor of Neighborhood Fresh and Darlene Murphy of Metcalfe’s Market about why shopper loyalty is so important in this time of inflation.

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