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Retail Insights

Which Drinks Do People Buy From C-Stores at New Year?

One advantage that C-stores hold over supermarkets and specialist shops is ultimate accessibility. During times of national celebration, you’ll find your local convenience store open for business while larger establishments are locked down.

These operating hours can be a Godsend when you’ve forgotten vital components for Christmas dinner or, in some cases, need more alcohol for that neighbourhood Hogmanay bash. As such, alcohol sales during the last week of each year can skyrocket – but what are people buying?

After crunching our sales data, we can explore the last three years’ worth of purchases to list the top 10 drinks in each alcohol category. Ever wondered what the best-selling beer, cider, or spirit over the festive period has proven to be? Read on…


Stella Artois continues to be the dominant beer product, topping the league table once again. Interestingly, in 2018 and 2019 a price-marked variety took over the top spot from its previous version. Price mark popularity is not new but its impact is highlighted by the fact that 60% of the top-selling beer products are price marked in 2019, compared to 0% in 2016.


Buckfast continues as the top selling wine product, driven entirely by sales in Scotland. In the other products, wine tastes appear to be getting paler; not a single Red Wine product has made it into the top sellers this year with Prosecco doubling the number of positions from one to two.


Despite minimum unit pricing in Scotland, strong ciders continue to be popular among shoppers, accounting for 40% of all top selling Cider products. Strongbow has had an impressive year, climbing 4 spots in its standard variety and staying strong in terms of Dark Fruit. Price marked products have also shown their popularity here.


Very little appears to have changed in terms of wider drinking habits. Vodka still reigns supreme and established brands continue to dominate top sellers, despite the growing popularity of niche craft products in subcategories such as Gin. Sometimes you just can't beat the classics!
For more information on sales data over the New Year stretch, or in terms of alcohol, get in touch with our data team.
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