Demand for booze delivery has risen sharply in Australia, as the coronavirus forces people indoors

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  • Alcohol delivery services in Australia have experienced a high demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Jimmy Brings and Tipple have both seen an uptick in sales, with BWS also seeing a jump in demand.
  • Sydney in particular has experienced the highest demand.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing Aussies to stay indoors, the demand for alcohol delivery has gone up.

As panic buying saw many Australians flock to supermarkets to stock up on food and toilet paper, alcohol was a prominently featured item on many shopping lists.

Woolworths Group told Business Insider Australia via email BWS has seen “some elevated customer demand” amid the pandemic.

As major supermarkets Coles, Woolworths and Aldi put limits on certain items you can buy in store, some liquor stores followed suit.

BWS, along with fellow liquor store Dan Murphy’s put restrictions on how much alcohol people can purchase. At BWS, the limit includes 4 cases of beer, 12 bottles of wine, 4 bottles of spirits and 4 cases of cider. At Dan Murphy’s, it’s 18 bottles of wine, 6 bottles of spirits or 3 cases of beer, cider or premix.

Western Australia, however, has its own state-wide limits, allowing only 1 carton of beer, cider or pre-mixed drinks, 3 bottles of wine, 1 litre of spirits and 1 litre of wine. Or you can get a combination of any two different options on the list.

Breweries are continuing production

When the federal government announced closures of venues including pubs, clubs and restaurants – save for takeaway and delivery – Carlton and United Breweries (CUB) and Lion worried that Australia would run out of beer in three months if they too, were shut down, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

CUB produces brands such as Victoria Bitter and Carlton Draught while Lion owns brands including XXXX and James Squire.

Coopers Brewery told Business Insider Australia via email that with hotels and clubs being closed, it’s now concentrating on producing packaged beers.

It is also supporting clubs, pubs and restaurants by offering a credit on all full and capped kegs that are returned to the company.

Production, however, is still going ahead at Coopers, with the brewery adding additional hygiene measures, social distancing and encouraging those who can work from home to do so.

Likewise, CUB and Lion are also fully operational. And Lion is offering its customers a credit and taking back unused kegs at no charge.

Some distilleries, on the other hand, have been making hand sanitiser to boost supplies in around the country such as Archie Rose and Manly Spirits Co.

Online alcohol delivery soars

Alcohol delivery service Jimmy Brings told Business Insider Australia via email its customers have grown 23% compared to the same time last year. And it has had more suppliers reaching out to it too, as well as people applying to be drivers.

“We are actively looking to hire new drivers everyday,” Jimmy Brings marketing manager Angelina Nguyen said. “In the last 30 days, we’ve had an 800% increase in job applications compared to the previous 30 days. This Monday, we had 320 job applications on that one day alone.”

Sydney has seen the most demand.

“We actually had one of our highest single order values this week come from Sydney, the transaction was $3,626 compared to our average of around $60,” Nguyen added.

Jimmy Brings has also seen a rise in sales of extras like condoms (29% increase) and Panadol or Nurofen (34% increase). Plus, customers are ordering alcohol much earlier.

“Our peak is now 5pm rather than 9pm with more people enjoying digital knock off drinks together,” Nguyen said.

Fellow alcohol delivery service Tipple has also seen a jump in orders through its platform over the past few weeks.

“There’s been a strong influx of new customers to our alcohol delivery app as well as an uptick in purchases from existing customers which tells us that people are doing the right thing and staying home while still trying to have a good time,” Tipple head of marketing Michael Calle told Business Insider Australia via email.

Calle added that some businesses have also been treating their employees to a bevvy.

“A few companies have also been surprise-ordering for their employees and getting their team on video calls at the end of the week as a replacement for office drinks which has been a nice surprise,” he said.

Instead of going to suppliers directly, Tipple partners with local independent bottle shops. In fact, Tipple began as an independent bottleshop itself over five years ago and still has many roots in the industry.

While the service has been operating in Melbourne much longer than Sydney, over the last week, Sydney has outpaced growth in Melbourne. “Having said that, we’re up hugely across both and are currently experiencing over 50% week-on-week growth of active users across our mobile apps and website,” Calle said.

To keep these stores operating, Tipple is in the process of opening its platform and delivery network to any bottleshops that wants to start delivering to their existing customers.

“We’ve also been inundated with requests from other independent retailers looking to start delivering in order to continue servicing customers,” Calle said.

Tipple also put a call out to any businesses impacted by coronavirus-related shutdowns to get in touch with them if they need assistance with deliveries.

The company is also looking for more drivers to assist with increased demand it anticipates over the coming weeks.


READ MORE:

  • A number of distilleries around Australia are now making hand sanitiser, including Bundaberg Rum and Archie Rose
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