Coronavirus quarantine sends online alcohol delivery sales surging

Uptick in orders of six-packs of beer and cases of wine

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Happy hour may be postponed at bars and restaurants across the country, but that’s not stopping imbibers from boozing at home.

Online alcohol delivery services have seen a major uptick in business as Americans stock up on wine and spirits while sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic.

Americans are stocking up on beer and wine by the case with bars and restaurants closed. (Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

Orders for alcohol being consumed outside of restaurants and bars spiked 30 percent in the past month at Constellation Brands, the maker of Corona beer and spirits like Casa Noble Tequila and High West Whiskey.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
STZCONSTELLATION BRANDS INC.205.84+1.03+0.50%

Indeed, the beverage giant has seen an uptick in demand for large-format orders of six-packs of beer and cases of wine and is shifting operations to accommodate at-home orders.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its national virus guidelines last week advising against gatherings of 50 or more people for at least the next eight weeks. With ongoing isolation, a number of hospitality and spirits industry leaders are promoting virtual happy hours online encouraging people to socialize like they would at a bar or restaurant in real life, from behind a computer screen or cellphone.

Crook & Marker, an alcohol label with better-for-you booze like spiked seltzer, is encouraging the 21-and-up crowd to join its digital #CheersUp happy hour April, 2. The company will raise funds for the United States Bartender's Guild to help hospitality workers across the country amid restaurant and bar closures. And more Americans are utilizing social networking platforms like HouseParty, which enables group video chatting on phones and desktop apps, to socialize over a few drinks from a distance.

Drizly, an e-commerce platform for alcohol delivery operating in more than 100 markets across the U.S. and Canada, also saw sales that were 300 percent higher last week with consumer tabs up 50 percent more than what they typically spend, Liz Paquette, head of consumer insights at Drizly, told FOX Business.

Last Friday was the platform’s biggest sales day to date since it launched in 2012 with first-time buyers comprising 41 percent of sales.

“Ninety-eight percent of our retailers are still online and operating for delivery. We plan to continue operating and supporting our partners and customers until we are told otherwise,” Paquette said in a statement.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.