Every year, millions of people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – a day that, in the U.S., often becomes intimately associated with the color green, Irish food, and beer. However, with Coronavirus on the rise, could a holiday based on social drinking be impacted? CivicScience asked more than 2,100 U.S. adults of drinking age about their plans for festivities. 

Seeing Green

As the data show, 11% of people will go out of their way to drink an Irish beer on St. Patrick’s Day, but most won’t.

And while a large percentage of U.S. adults who can drink will not be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, those who will are most likely to buy their beer at the grocery store. Second to this are those who will buy beer at bars and restaurants or a beer distributor.

Staying In or Going Out? Coronavirus May Help Decide 

However, coronavirus is making an impact. This year, 7% of U.S. adults 21+ will no longer go out because of the virus. Clearly, fears of the disease are changing – even if slightly – the way consumers spend their time and money.

According to scientists, the youngest and oldest in our population are the most at risk for contracting not just coronavirus, but any immune-compromising disease. However, CivicScience data show that adults aged 21-34 are the most likely to be canceling their St. Patrick’s Day plans out of concern for their health. 

At the same time, adults 21-34 are also the heaviest beer drinks suggesting that beer sales at pubs could falter next week, while grocery stores could see a surge of people looking for a 6 pack.

Order Online, Pickup In-Store a Possible Solution

Given that Target, and other retailers, are testing out an “order-online-pickup-in-store” model for not just fresh groceries but alcohol, CivicScience checked if this service would be valuable to someone concerned about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day out and about. As the data show, adults 21+ who were at least “somewhat likely” to utilize Target’s online ordering for alcohol were 61% more likely to say they have changed their plans and will stay home this March 17th.

As consumers begin to minimize their interactions with other people, how – and if – they spend money will certainly change too. CivicScience will continue to monitor how the outbreak is impacting consumer behavior around holidays and events.