Summer may not officially be in swing just yet, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at May sales trends on Drizly. Consumers reached for lighter categories like ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktail variety packs and rice lager and started shopping up earlier in the week. Explore all of last month’s insights with these takeaways from Drizly’s May sales.

Lighter Categories Top Wine, Beer, and Spirits

“RTDs continue to see strong growth, with no signs of stopping,” says Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights. Variety packs in particular were popular last month, led by top sellers from High Noon, Cutwater, and NÜTRL, indicating that summer get-togethers are starting early.

As it did in March, rice lager topped beer subcategory growth in May 2022, driven by brands like Asahi, Orion Breweries, and Berryessa Brewing Co. Within the wine category, sparkling sake saw significant year-over-year growth, reflecting sake’s increasing share overall. Best sellers included Sho Chiku Bai Mio Sparkling Sake and Ozeki Hana Fuga Peach Sparkling Sake.

Memorial Day Weekend Insights

Marking a significant shift in the ready-to-drink space, Memorial Day weekend 2022 (held from May 27 to 30) marked the first time the RTD cocktail category surpassed the hard seltzer category. RTD cocktails held 4.8 percent share over Memorial Day weekend on Drizly, while hard seltzer held 4.4 percent share. Specific RTD cocktail brands also made gains among Drizly’s top-selling spirits brands, with High Noon reaching the No. 3 spot (up from No. 7 during Memorial Day weekend 2021) and Cutwater Spirits reaching the No. 13 spot (up from No. 31).

Tequila was also popular over Memorial Day weekend, with three tequila SKUs (Casamigos Blanco, Clase Azul Reposado, and Espolòn Blanco) sitting among the five most popular spirits SKUs ordered on Drizly; the year prior, only Casamigos made the list.

Market Insights: Des Moines – Ames, Iowa

Last month, Des Moines – Ames, Iowa, proved to be one of the fastest-growing markets year-over-year on Drizly. The market tends to over-index on liquor and beer share and under-index on wine when compared to national trends. Liquor holds 56 percent of order share year-to-date (compared to 45 percent nationally) while beer holds 28 percent (compared to 15 percent nationally) and wine holds 12 percent (compared to 39 percent nationally).

The market’s top-selling subcategories also vary quite a bit from national trends. Vodka ranks highest, followed by light lager, hard seltzer, bourbon, and flavored whiskey; wine subcategories, which top national trends, don’t rank within the top five in the market.

Drizly’s Top 10 Subcategories in Des Moines, Iowa vs. National

  1. Vodka vs. Red Wine 
  2. Light Lager vs. White Wine 
  3. Hard Seltzer vs. Vodka 
  4. Bourbon vs. Bourbon 
  5. Flavored Whiskey vs. Champagne 
  6. Silver/Blanco Tequila vs. Silver/Blanco Tequila
  7. Red Wine vs. Scotch Whisky 
  8. Flavored Vodka vs. Light Lager
  9. Champagne vs. Rosé Wine 

May’s Fastest-Growing Brands

Within the liquor category, party punch brand Beatbox Beverages saw the highest year-over-year sales increase, driven by top flavors like Fruit Punch, Tropical Punch, and Blue Razzberry. Sea Sun, a Wagner Family of Wine brand, saw significant growth over last May, with its California Pinot Noir leading the way. Signaling the continued growth of hard kombucha, Strainge Beast was one of the fastest-growing beer brands year-over-year, led by flavors like Ginger, Lemon, and Hibiscus; Passion Fruit, Hops, and Blood Orange; and Blueberry, Acai, and Sweet Basil.

Consumers Are Ordering Earlier in the Week

Drizly purchasers got a jump-start on their week in May, as reflected by a month-over-month order share on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays. Compared to April, each day gained three percentage points in share, with Sunday holding 12 percent, Monday holding 13 percent, and Tuesday holding 13 percent. Both Monday and Tuesday also saw year-over-year share gains, suggesting that consumers are prepping for summer.