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Waitrose sees Aperol sales jump in ‘sundowner’ trend

From Aperol spritz to espresso martini cocktails, UK supermarket Waitrose has reported sales spikes on ingredients for the perfect aperitif in recent weeks.

Waitrose said this month that Aperol sales were up 148% year-on-year as drinkers in the UK sought to make their favourite sundowner cocktails at home.

With many people continuing to work from home, drinkers have been repurposing their commuting time to ‘serve up some sundowners before supper’, said Waitrose.

Alongside the popular Aperol spritz, the retailer also highlighted strong increases in different types of vermouth, as well as Pimm’s.

A spike in recipe searches also shows that drinkers are looking to create their own versions of the espresso martini, Waitrose said. Kahlúa coffee liqueur sales were up around 50% year-on-year, said the supermarket.

John Vine, spirit buyer at Waitrose, said, ‘With many of us now spending our summer break closer to home, we’re seeing strong demand for “summer-type serves” which are quick and easy to do.

‘Our customers are looking for ways to end their working day while they’re still working from home and mixing up some delicious sundowners before dinner has driven sales of aperitifs in recent weeks.’

Waitrose data also adds to evidence that more drinkers have sought to recreate their favourite cocktails at home since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Analyst group CGA, which specialises in research around the hospitality ‘on-trade’, said earlier this year that more people were mixing cocktails at home during lockdown in the UK.

It added that this trend could continue to some extent once restrictions were lifted.

CGA said recently that drinks sales in hospitality venues have been rebounding since the end of lockdown restrictions in the UK, but that some people remained cautious about returning to venues, such as bars and pubs.


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