Summer trends were in full swing in the month of June as consumers prepare for a more social summer compared to last year. Milestones and occasions were celebrated, as indicated by strong gift order share, and warm weather favorites like hard seltzer, summery ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktail flavors, and rosé were among top sellers last month. Discover trends for summer with these insights from Drizly’s June sales.

Summertime Subcategory Surge

Month-over-month subcategory trends indicate that consumers are ready for summer sipping. The fastest-growing beer subcategory was the shandy/radler, which infuses fruit flavors into classic beer options. “This appeals to consumers of the growing hard lemonade category,” says Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights. Top shandy/radler SKUs in June include Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy Craft Beer, Narragansett Del’s Lemon Shandy, Goose Island 312 Lemonade Shandy, and Cape May The Grove Citrus Shandy.

Once again, RTD cocktails topped the list of fast-growing spirits subcategories, seeing share gains from May to June. However, several new flavors gained traction month-over-month, including Rum and Cola (particularly Cutwater’s version), Bloody Mary (especially the Bloody Buddy), and Bahama Mama (led by Bacardi’s Ready-to-Serve Bahama Mama). 

Canned wine also began to show growth in June, but the subcategory was largely driven by canned wine spritzers. Popular brands include Barefoot and Decoy, both of which have marketed their wine spritzers as hard seltzers.

Spikes in June Gifting

June proved to be a strong month for gifts, with gift order share up to 10% from 6% in June 2020, amidst graduations, weddings, anniversaries, and Father’s Day. As is often the case, Champagne and sparkling wine held the largest gift order share (31 percent), followed by whiskey (26 percent), tequila (11 percent), and red wine (11 percent).

Drizly’s Best-Selling Gift SKUs, June 2021

  1. Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label Champagne
  2. Dom Pérignon Vintage Champagne
  3. Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut Champagne
  4. Clase Azul Reposado Tequila
  5. Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Gift Box Champagne
  6. Casamigos Blanco
  7. Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne
  8. Don Julio 1942
  9. Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky
  10. Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

June’s Breakout Brands

Hard seltzer drove growth for breakout beer brands in June, including Lone River, which produces the popular Texas hard seltzer Ranch Water. Its top-selling SKUs included the variety pack, followed by original and spicy flavors. Hornell Brewing’s Arizona SunRise Hard Seltzer was another breakout brand, launched by the popular iced tea brand earlier this year.

Two Chicks stood out among RTD brands in June, seeing breakout growth within the spirits category. The woman-owned, sparkling RTD brand was led by their Sparkling Vodka Fizz, Sparkling Paloma, and Sparkling Citrus Margarita. Within the wine category, Maison No. 9 experienced breakout growth in June; launched by musician Post Malone last year, it has quickly become a consumer favorite.

Market Insights: Oklahoma City

Since Oklahoma legalized alcohol delivery in 2020, the Oklahoma City market has seen skyrocketing growth, with June sales up 1,000 percent year-over-year. “The state will soon allow retailers to deliver via third-party delivery services,” says Paquette, “which will allow Drizly to continue to expand coverage within Oklahoma City and other markets in the state.”

Consumers Continue to Reach for Liquor

Liquor’s share has continued to grow after surpassing wine category share in 2020, reaching 45 percent of share in June 2021 (compared to 42 percent in June 2020). Comparatively, wine has lost one percentage point year-over-year, and beer has lost three percentage points.

This surge is driven by the continued success of RTD cocktails, which compete with wine and beer summer favorites in convenient, portable packaging. “As flavor innovation continues in the RTD space, the lines continue to blur with hard seltzer and other alternative categories—likely with low consumer awareness that they are swapping one category for the other,” says Paquette.