While sales of beer held up fairly well during the pandemic, sales of wine and hard liquor plummeted.
The fashion for online aperitifs was far from enough to compensate for the shortfall caused by the Covid-19 crisis. Wine sales were the hardest hit, plummeting 35% according to the Swiss Wine Trade Association. Spirits producers barely fared better, with their umbrella organization reporting a 25% drop.
Beer sales suffered less, dropping 5.9% at the end of April from a year earlier. But the summer promises to be difficult for this market with the cancellation of events that generate large turnover, such as festivals.
And it’s probably not over
According to a nationwide survey relayed by the “NZZ am Sonntag”, two-thirds of the beverage companies interviewed complained of a deterioration in their economic situation. Loss of income varies from a few percent to over 90%. The reason is explained above all by the different distribution of the share of sales in catering and retail. To explain this deterioration, “the slow opening of restaurants and the ban on major events” are pointed out.
The companies questioned therefore still expect an average drop in sales of 35% over the next two months. In the same proportion, they fear liquidity problems. A quarter of respondents even expect layoffs, while about half of them are on short-time working.
((ats / laf)