Convenience stores were the leading channel for beer sales among off-premise retailers.
The Beer Institute released new data today showing beer sales in convenience stores rose by 1.3% in 2011 totaling over $16.7 billion in sales.
Convenience stores were responsible for nearly 17% of total beer sales in 2011, comprising the largest share of off-premise sales last year.
“Convenience stores offer beer consumers accessible, speedy service,” said Joe McClain, president of the Beer Institute. “Convenience stores are growing in numbers, opening for longer hours, and offering a wide variety of brand options to our consumers. Growing convenience store beer sales show that consumers appreciate the ease of service this channel provides. ”
“Our strong performance in 2011, including beer sales, shows that our industry’s core convenience offer – especially one-stop shopping and speed of service for refreshments, food and fuel – continues to resonate with our customers and attract shoppers to our stores,” said NACS Chairman Tom Robinson, president of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Robinson Oil Corp.
The rise in convenience store beer sales is concurrent with continuing growth in the convenience store industry. The U.S. convenience store count increased to a record 148,126 stores as of Dec. 31, 2011, a 1.2% increase from the previous year. Based on these figures and U.S. Census data, there is approximately one convenience store per every 2,100 residents.
Overall, the Beer Institute data indicate that beer sales rose more than 2% in 2011, surpassing $98 billion in total retail sales, highlighting beer’s continued strength within the alcohol beverage sector. According to market research company Nielsen, the increase in sales revenue can be attributed to the high-end beer business. The sale of imports, crafts and above-premium beers sold off-premise was up nearly 3%.
According to the latest Beer Serves America study, the beer industry directly and indirectly supports approximately 1.8 million American jobs including those at our nation’s 547,000 beer-selling retail establishments.