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Adult beverages are up big time this summer, defying COVID-induced shutdowns of concert and sports venues, as well as bars, nightclubs, and seasonal attractions. Hard seltzer, flavored seltzer with low alcohol content, is having another huge year, completely redefining young adults’ drinking habits. Though revenues remain heavily concentrated in a small number of brands – that could be set to change with more competition entering the market. Additionally, though CBD infused beverages have a lot of headwinds to overcome, progress continues in their development and rollout.

Related Stocks: The Boston Beer Company, Inc. (SAM), The Coca-Cola Company (KO), Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ), Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (BUD), Monster Beverage Corporation (MNST)

Beverages across the board are booming in 2020, defying the COVID-crash.

Data gathered by National Retail Solutions (NRS), which operates a point of sales network of over 8,500 inner-city bodegas and corner stores, points to several beverage categories soaring this summer. According to NRS Senior Vice President of Data Strategy and Sales Suzy Silliman, “non-alcoholic beverages are trending 12% above a year ago, led by sports and energy drinks which are up by an impressive 32%,” she said.

But the real explosion of growth can be observed in adult beverages. Liquor and wine sales have crushed prior year sales numbers, each experiencing nearly a 50% increase in dollar sales in June and July YoY.

As MRP previously highlighted, sales of alcoholic beverages at brick-and-mortal stores surged by double digit percentages toward the end of March, the most severe period of COVID-induced lockdowns and other quarantine measures. Demand was so robust that online sales growth far outpaced in-store sales.

Restrictions have eased in most parts of the country, and although large gatherings that we’re accustomed to this time of year remain discouraged, alcohol sales have remained buoyant – especially for certain categories.

The Summer of Seltzer II

Even in the face of a largely uneventful summer season, devoid of concerts, sporting events, packed bars, and other non-socially distanced events, as well as tough comparisons from the 2019 “summer of seltzer,” hard seltzer has still managed to one up last year. As Axios reports, hard seltzer dollar sales were already up nearly 500% from 2018 to 2019.

Hard seltzers now account for…

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