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Pop-up Food Markets, Cocktails to-go: Recipes for Mounting Competition

CSP Daily News reported last month convenience store sales of alcohol are up from one year ago as consumers purchase more wine, beer and spirits amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the charts aren’t set in stone as restaurants in more than 30 states now sell cocktails to-go.1 Many of these same restaurants have also morphed into pop-up food markets selling packaged foods, fresh produce and other household supplies to help maintain cash flow and avoid closure.


These evolutionary changes drive increased competition between convenience and grocery stores and restaurants as each now more heavily relies upon the sale of food and drink to stay afloat. In cities like Washington D.C. and San Antonio, newly created lists and websites point consumers to a catalog of pop-up markets.


Operating within designated licensure, restaurants in many states aren’t allowed to operate as grocers would, but they are.2 In Los Angeles, the department of public health is allowing it for the time-being as they determine a process for creating guidelines around the topic.3 Because of this ambiguity, The BARS Program believes now more than ever, all outlets selling age-sensitive products need to vigilantly abide by local laws for selling alcohol and stay attuned to any modifications. Unclear direction could result in increased government-backed stings, and potentially increased hardships.


For assistance with newly implemented practices and the lawful sale of alcohol, enlist The BARS Program; we are vital insurance for your brand. And for added selling confidence, access TiPS’ newly created, Guide for Alcohol Delivery and Carry Out. The guide addresses newly modified practices for alcohol delivery, curbside pickup and to-go cocktails for off-site and on-site consumption.



1 Imbibe Magazine, 06/02/2020; Will To-Go Cocktails Become a Permanent Fixture?

2 Food & Wine, 04/01/2020; As Restaurants Pivot to Grocery Sales, Cities and States Rethink Restrictions

3 Los Angeles Times, 03/31/2020; L.A. restaurants can officially sell grocery items

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