WASHINGTON, D.C., 09/22/2021 – Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America’s (WSWA) SipSource released the latest set of CSI (Channel Shifting Index) data that provides wine and spirits professionals access to channel performance data for wine and spirits categories/segments, price tiers, and regions that are easy to understand and relevant to navigate the challenges COVID is continuously throwing at the industry.
The Latest SipSource CSI Tells Us
“The on-premise CSI which had been steadily improving through July substantiating the channel’s recovery, stalled in August, remaining at 90 for the latest three months—the same level as it was in three months to July (i.e., on-premise share was about 10 points less than it was in the pre-COVID twelve months to February 2020 period),” said Danny Brager, SipSource Analyst and industry veteran. “Prior to that the on-premise had continued to make steady gains after it had reached its low of 45 (wine and spirits combined) in the twelve-months ending Feb 2021,” concluded Brager.
While the August 2021 three-month CSI stalled for both categories, spirits on-premise CSI remained much healthier (93) than for wine (83).
“It’s apparent that while the national on-premise CSI remained neutral, there were significant regional discrepancies. For instance, for spirits, the on-premise CSI fell in the South Atlantic (largest state Florida) and South Central (largest state Texas). But that was offset by increases in the Pacific (largest state California), Northeast (largest state New York), and East North Central encompassing the upper Midwest states. On-premise CSI gains for wine in the Pacific and East North Central were negated by declines in the South Atlantic,” added Brager.
While the on-premise momentum in both the South Central and South Atlantic faltered, the former is the region with the most significant return to pre-COVID norms for spirits, with the latter following a close second. In the case of wine, the South Atlantic on-premise CSI fell the most but is still the highest CSI of all regions. Net-net, these two regions may have seen a regression in on-premise importance, but from a relatively high base.
“When you go deeper into channels, over the longer term, the CSI for the Lodging and Transportation channels remain far behind where they once were, indicating the travel-related business continues to suffer the impact of COVID. Conversely, the Convenience channel has continued to hold onto much of its gains made during the midst of COVID, with CSI indices still above 110 for both wine and spirits. This supports the resilience of this channel, its appeal for a significant percentage of consumers, and the appeal of certain products in this more constrained shelf space channel such as smaller pack sizes,” summarized Brager.
Key Points to On-Premise
The on-premise continued to advance its importance for some product segments, most notably:
- Cocktails (a CSI at 194 for the three months to August versus 175 for the three months to July) – again reinforcing the growing popularity of pre-mixed cocktails/ready-to-drink products among those both managing on-premise accounts and the consumers having a drink in the on premise channel.
- Champagne (now at 106 for the three months to August versus 97 for the three months to July) – an important part of the very positive story overall for sparkling wine, but not the only one. In total, sparkling’s on-premise CSI was 97 for the last three months, well above table wine’s on premise CSI of 80.
“Across table wine price tiers, the higher-end $25+ tier (based on in-store prices), have performed best, with an on-premise CSI of 85 in the latest three months, and considerably better than other key price tiers," added Brager. "That’s even more significant because on-premise represents almost 40% of that tier’s overall business.”
How to read the SipSource CSI index
The SipSource CSI provides monthly comparisons of channel importance to pre-COVID levels (12 months to February 2020). An index above 100 indicates the channel referenced has a greater share of the market than it had pre-COVID; an index less than 100 indicates that the channel has a smaller share of the market than it had pre-COVID. In particular, on-premise business was devastated during the height of the pandemic and is now in various stages of recovery. But wine and spirits are not recovering equally—nor are the segments within each category, the regions within the country, or the various trade sub-channels.
This data will enable you and your teams to answer the unknowns such as:
- Where should you focus/invest? Where should you hold back?
- Are you keeping pace with overall category/segment trends in various channels?
For members of the media who wish to discuss CSI data with a SipSource analyst, please contact Michael@WSWA.org.
For professionals interested in subscribing to this data set, please contact Nicole@wswa.org.
SipSource is the ONLY source for aggregated distributor depletion data, built from unique items sold to individual stores. Since wholesalers distribute to all types of retailers, SipSource has unrivaled channel segmentation. It also covers the largest volume of bona fide alcohol sales and does not need to rely on estimates, samples or projections. SipSource uses an industry leading platform: VIP’s iDIG to deliver timely, transparent and trusted data. In addition to the reporting tool, subscribers have access to quarterly and annual reports that leverage powerful collaboration with industry leaders and provide high-level insights into the wine and spirits marketplace.
Interested in subscribing to SipSource? Please contact Nicole Anderson at email@example.com for more information.