July brought the return of some trends – such as the popularity of spice/herb/vegetable beers, inspired by Mexican flavors, and the growth of an ultra-premium tequila brand – and introduced others as consumers embraced warm-weather purchasing habits. Plus, it’s the summer of ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails as the fast-growing subcategory topped hard seltzer share over the July 4th weekend, mirroring trends forecasted over Memorial Day weekend. 

How will July’s trends predict online beverage purchasing habits through the rest of the summer, and into the fall? Learn more with these insights from Drizly’s July 2022 sales.

New and Returning Breakout Categories

Both new and repeat subcategories experienced breakout growth in July. Though it isn’t technically a liquor subcategory – it falls under extras – bar tools and cocktail accessories comprised the fastest-growing subcategory overall year-over-year. Cocktail shakers led growth. For the second time this year (the last being in February 2022), spice/herb/vegetable beer was the fastest-growing beer subcategory; top SKUs included Modelo Chelada Especial, Modelo Chelada Limon y Sal, Budweiser Chelada Picante with Clamato, Modelo Chelada Piña Picante, and Estrella Jalisco/Golden Road Brewing Mango Michelada.

Orange wine once again found its way onto the fastest-growing wine subcategories list; it last saw significant year-over-year growth in September 2021. Spain held the highest share of orange wine sales on Drizly in July with 35 percent, followed by Austria (23 percent), Italy (18 percent), and the U.S. (14 percent). The top five orange wines sold on Drizly last month spanned countries: Gulp/Hablo Orange Wine, Biokult Naken Orange Wine, Field Recordings Skins, Borgo Savaian Aransat, and Vichingo Vermentino Macerato Sulle Bucce. 

Insights from Fourth of July Weekend

Several subcategory shifts were evident over the Fourth of July 2022 weekend, which was celebrated from July 1 to July 4. Compared to the prior year (July 2 to July 5, 2021), the RTD subcategory surpassed the hard seltzer subcategory, just as it did on Memorial Day weekend, as RTDs increased in popularity and hard seltzer experienced decreases. RTD cocktails held 5.4 percent of total share this year, compared to 3.6 percent over Fourth of July 2021 weekend; hard seltzer held 4.7 percent of total share this year, compared to 5.9 percent share last year.

These trends were reflected in the overall beer and liquor categories, as the beer category experienced share declines (from 21 percent to 18 percent from Fourth of July weekend 2021 to 2022) and the liquor category experienced increases (from 46 percent to 48 percent last year versus this year). Wine gained one percentage point in share over the same time period.

Market Insights: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

The city of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, experienced strong year-over-year growth in July. Consistent with the southeastern region of the U.S., the market over-indexes on liquor and beer compared to overall Drizly sales. Liquor is the largest category with 50 percent of share (versus 46 percent nationally) and beer holds 17 percent of share (versus 16 percent nationally)

Relative to overall Drizly sales, Oklahoma City over-indexes on vodka, RTD cocktails, flavored whiskey, and American whiskey. It also over-indexes on light lager, American-style lagers, and cider within the beer category.

Last Month’s Fastest-Growing Brands

Another tequila brand topped the list of fast-growing spirits brands: Tequila Mandala, known for its striking, circular bottles. Underscoring just how much premiumization has taken hold in this category, the top-selling product was the brand’s Extra Añejo, which sells for an average of $216 per bottle.

Within the beer category, Scofflaw Brewing Company led brand growth in July, led by their Basement IPA, POG Basement IPA, and hard seltzer variety pack. The brewery’s local market is Atlanta, which was only legalized for alcohol delivery in 2020. The wine category was led by Top Box, a three-liter boxed wine brand, indicating that Drizly users are reaching for alternative packaging. Top-selling SKUs included the Pinot Grigio, Rosé, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Increasing Consumer Interest in White Wine

Interest in lighter, fresher wine options was stronger in July than it was in previous summers as consumers reached for white wine. The subcategory gained share across total sales – increasing from 10 percent of share in July 2021 to 11 percent last month – and within the wine category, increasing from 31 percent of wine share last July to 32 percent of share this year. Varietal wines that have seen significant gains include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Albariño, Chenin Blanc, and Cortese.