Beverage sales rebound in October, ending 5-month losing streak

With the domestic COVID-19 situation improving and the government's stimulus voucher program taking effect, sales in Taiwan's beverage sector rose 2.6 percent year-on-year to NT$8.2 billion (US$294.86 million) in October, snapping a five-month losing streak, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a report Wednesday.

Due to Taiwan's steady economic growth and growing consumption momentum in the first four months this year, domestic beverage vendors registered double-digit growth in sales between February and April before seeing their sales decline following the introduction of a Level 3 COVID-19 alert nationwide on May 19, which included a ban on all on-site drinking, according to the ministry.

In May, the beverage industry recorded sales of NT$6.1 billion, down 18.5 percent from a year earlier.

Beverage sales dropped to NT$5.1 billion in June, the lowest amount since February 2013 and the largest ever year-on-year drop of 38.8 percent, according to data compiled by the ministry.

In July, sales fell 36.6 percent year-on-year to NT$5.5 billion but the year-on-year decline narrowed to 17.3 percent in August which saw sales reach NT$7.3 billion, and then to 3.6 percent in September to NT$8.3 billion.

In October, beverage vendors saw their sales hit NT$8.2 billion with a 2.6 percent year-on-year increase, the MOEA data showed.

Typically, peak beverage sales occur from July to September and from December to January each year, but this year, beverage demand has been faltering during peak periods due to COVID-19 curbs, according to the ministry.

Cash and credit cards are usually the preferred payment choices for consumers at beverage outlets, but due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, making payments through delivery services has become the top consumer payment preference.

Last year saw a 7.4 percentage points year-on-year increase in beverage vendors accepting collective and regular payments from delivery services via checks, money or wire transfers, according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, it was found that many beverage outlets have changed their operating models, such as collaborating with delivery services, creating a point-of-sale system, building a social network platform, starting a Line chat group, or providing mobile payment options to improve their digital customer services.

As of the end of September, there were 26,255 beverage shops in the country, 1,338 more than the end of last year, with Kaohsiung having the highest percentage of these shops at 15.2 percent, followed by Tainan with 14.2 percent, according to the ministry.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel