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It appears as if we’ve all found other ways to cope besides drinking: alcohol sales have dropped for the first time since the pandemic began.

According to CNN, Nielsen data shows that total sales declined 1.9% for the week ending March 13. This time last year, when shelter-in-place orders were implemented, and bars and restaurants closed, retail alcohol sales shot up as much as 55%.

Of course, this decline reflects the fact that more bars and restaurants are now open.

Danelle Kosmal, vice president of beverage alcohol at NielsenIQ, said in a statement, “We have officially surpassed one year of drastic shifts in consumer and shopper behaviors resulting from the pandemic in the United States. At this time last year, alcohol volume experienced massive shifts from the on-premise to off-premise.”

CNN adds that even though sales are declining, we are all still buying a lot of booze. They point out that the retail sales of spirits, wine, and beer are still roughly 20 to 30 percent higher in March 2021 as compared to March 2019.

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