Vodka and whisky sales boosted in Russia by Covid-19

Despite the confinement due to the Covid-19 epidemic, sales of some alcohols such as vodka and whisky have increased.

Sellers in Russia have seen a sharp increase in alcohol sales in recent weeks. Consumers have been buying especially vodka, whisky and beer. During the last week of March, vodka sales in Russia in the largest wholesale stores increased 31% year over year. Whisky purchases increased by 47%. And beer sales increased 25% according to market research by Nielsen.

In Moscow, residents are only allowed to go out to buy food or medicine in nearby stores. Or ask for urgent medical help, walk the dog or take out the trash.

Magnit, one of the largest food stores in Russia, reported a double-digit increase in alcohol sales. This, since partial confinement was implemented in the country. Meanwhile, Lenta and O’Key report a one-third increase in sales.

The director of a large alcohol supplier said that sales of low-priced imported alcohol doubled in annual terms. This increase has been observed since the measures were implemented.


Why is this happening?

“People are bringing in everything they can – vodka, cognac, and beer,” says an employee of a low-cost supermarket in the Moscow region, who according to CNA restocked shelves with vodka. “People tend to buy more than anything that’s cheaper.”

The phenomenon of rising alcohol sales is due, according to Sultan Khamzaev of Sovereign Russia, to long holidays, stress, fear of running out of alcohol. But also to a belief among some Russians that alcohol provides protection against the coronavirus.

Authorities have asked Russians to avoid self-medicating with alcohol. They also point out that drinking does not cure Covid-19 or prevent it from being caught.


Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.


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