When CivicScience first studied online alcohol delivery at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak back in March, 16% of adults 21 and older (who drink) reported making an online booze purchase. Looking at the May 2020 numbers, that number has risen to 23%. That means nearly one-fourth of Americans who consume alcohol have bought theirs online recently. While lockdowns and closures leave many with no other option, this is still a significant rise.

When specifically asking adults about purchasing wine online, as wine-specific subscriptions have grown lately, 12% of U.S. adults 21+ (rebased among those who drink) have bought wine virtually, while another 6% want to.

We see similar adoption rates from 21 all the way to age 64, so adoption of online wine is super broad. The highest intent to buy wine online in the future comes from the 25-44 age group.

Looking at wine drinking by frequency, nearly one-third (29%) of people who drink wine twice a week or more have bought wine online, and that number only drops to 26% among people who drink it once a week to twice a month.

While on the topic of purchasing pantry items online, it appears online grocery may be at a standstill. Just to check in quickly on the CivicScience tracking question on online grocery adoption, it appears to be plateauing. 

The week-to-date numbers show that 24% of all U.S. adults aware of grocery delivery have used online grocery. Could that mean that the number of people who have ordered alcohol online (currently at 23% among drinkers) will eventually surpass grocery shopping online? We’ll keep an eye on that. 

Perhaps not surprisingly, there’s a good bit of crossover between those who have purchased wine online and those who have done online grocery, but maybe not as much as you’d think. 

Online alcohol purchasing is something to track for the foreseeable future. We wouldn’t be surprised if online alcohol became more heavily saturated in the market than online grocery did, even beyond the pandemic.