Americans Are Drinking Through The Pandemic

By November 12, 2020 June 16th, 2021 No Comments

25% of Americans binged in the last month

The COVID Pandemic has made it much easier to buy alcohol than necessities like meat, eggs and toilet paper. Liquor stores remain ‘essential’ more so than ever before for the American consumer.

Creative ways of obtaining booze took off during the pandemic, like online apps that connect consumers to liquor store home delivery services. Drizly, an online liquor store that delivers, saw a growth of 700-800% in sales during the initial lockdown.

Americans are drinking more often and in great excess. Between 2019 and now during the pandemic, men and women both reported increasing the frequency of their binge drinking episodes, defined as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women within a couple of hours. For women, that count rose by half.

Alcohol Sales Skyrocket By 262%

As stay-at-home orders began in the United States, Nielsen reported a 54% increase in national sales of alcohol for the week ending March 21, 2020, compared with 1 year before; online sales increased 262% from 2019.1 Shortly after, the World Health Organization warned that alcohol use during the pandemic may potentially exacerbate health concerns and risk-taking behaviors.

Going Big in Lockdown

Many consumers are increasing their pack size. There has been a soaring demand for larger pack sizes, far beyond the norm. Comparing the year ended Feb. 29 to the seven-week COVID-19 impacted period ended April 18, sales growth in percentage points was nearly 10 times higher for boxed wine and 23 times higher for 1.75-litre spirits. The beer category has also seen consumers trading up to larger pack sizes, with double-digit sales growth among 30-packs (+21%) and 24-packs (+20%) in the week ended April 18, 2020.

Looking for Routine and Normalcy

Consumers seem to be searching and wishing for normalcy and routines. 69% of surveyed Americans say that they’re purchasing alcohol brands they know and trust.

As COVID cases continue to rise, so will alcoholism in our nation. If you are a loved one are struggling with addiction, don’t be afraid to get help. Schick Shadel has helped more than 85,000 people in the past 85 years and continues to be the longest running alcohol facility in the nation. Call us today at 1-800-CRAVING.


1.) Nielsen Company.

Rebalancing the ‘COVID-19 Effect’ on alcohol sales. Published May 7, 2020. Accessed August 27, 2020.

2. World Health Organization. Alcohol does not protect against COVID-19; access should be restricted during lockdown. Published April 14, 2020. Accessed August 27, 2020.

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