May 15 – COVID-19 and the Booze Business: A Close Look at the Past, Present and Future of Drinking

US sales of alcoholic beverages rose 55% in the week ending March 21, 2020 according to Nielsen data. What’s going on that would explain a 75% increase in hard liquor year-over-year sales versus the same period in 2019?

Join us Friday, May 15 at 12pm-1pm ET for our next webinar. (RSVP AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE)

Arthur Shapiro, an expert with 35 years in the alcohol industry, particularly spirits (liquor), will shed light on what could be behind this dramatic in sales following the onset of stay-at-home and social distancing mandates.  Arthur notes that the spirits industry has gone through many changes since the birth of the nation. The business has encountered wars, prohibited sales and consumption, economic upheaval, and now, the Coronavirus.

This presentation will look at the industry from the standpoint of the overall and historic pressures that have shaped and will shape alcohol consumption in the future.

  • The alcohol industry has proven resilient in terms of external pressures. Will it withstand the societal and physical changes of the virus?
  • Bars and restaurants are closed. Can at home drinking take the place of going out?
  • What can be learned from the history of the business?
  • How will the industry adapt?
  • What changes are taking place among consumers, will these be sustained, and where are alcohol behaviors heading?
  • What other pressures (health and wellness, cannabis, etc.) are emerging?

As the Market Research Council is unable to do the planned tasting, we invite you to join “in the spirit of the occasion” by savoring a beverage of your choice.

About Arthur Shapiro

Arthur has worked in the spirits industry for close to 35 years, most notably with Seagram Wine and Spirits as CMO for ten of those years. In addition, he has advised/consulted with such large players as Brown Forman, Jose Cuervo International, Spirit France, Absolut Vodka, among others. His current focus is on craft and startup ventures.  Arthur is a long-time member of the MRC.

Arthur also publishes an industry blog called and recently wrote a book entitled, Inside the Bottle: People, Brands and Stories.



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