By November, consumers are solidly in a holiday mindset, making the month’s sales a good indicator for what retailers should expect through the end of the year. Drizly purchasers seem to be reaching for higher-end products early, resulting in success for categories like añejo tequila and Champagne — even amidst unit price increases — but they’re also approaching the season differently, with demand for seasonal beers holding strong and increased interest in non-alcoholic options. Discover even more with these five insights from Drizly’s November 2021 sales.

November’s Wine, Beer, and Spirits Category Trends

The popularity of tequila has solidly spilled over into the añejo style, as it ranked among the spirits subcategories showing the most growth year-over-year. “This high-end tequila category continues to see growth year-over-year as the tequila category overall continues to grow and see premiumization,” says Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights. Top offerings include several from Don Julio, Casamigos Añejo, and Jose Cuervo’s Reserva de la Familia.

Once again, non-alcoholic was one of the beer category’s fastest-growing subcategories, with SKUs from Heineken, Athletic Brewing, Lagunitas, and O’Doul’s showing plenty of consumer demand. This could indicate that consumers are reaching for lighter, “better-for-you” options even as the holiday season draws near.

In the wine category, Albariño was among the fastest-growing varietal wines year-over-year, with brands like Martín Códax, Burgans, Bodegas La Caña, and Paco & Lola leading the way. The fervor for the signature white grape of Galicia in northwestern Spain may indicate that some consumers are getting more adventurous with their wine choices.

Occasion Insights: Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving 2021 stocking period pointed to consumer demand for liquor, which held 45 percent of share on Drizly (compared to wine’s 43 percent and beer’s 12 percent). This was particularly true for tequila, which saw growth across styles — silver/blanco tequila was the No. 7 best-selling subcategory, followed by reposado tequila at No. 10 and añejo tequila at No. 12 — and topped best-selling product lists. Ready-to-drink cocktails also surged from No. 37 last year to No. 24 this year on the best-selling subcategories list.

Drizly’s Thanksgiving 2021 purchasing behavior also indicated that consumers are reaching for higher-end brands earlier in the season, with Champagne brands like Veuve Clicquot, Moét & Chandon, and Dom Pérignon ranking among the top-selling wine brands list over the holiday. Luxury spirits like Don Julio and The Macallan also ranked high among liquor brands.

The Fastest-Growing Brands in November

Though demand for seasonal, pumpkin-flavored beer tends to spike in September and October, Shipyard was one of the fastest-growing beer brands in November, specifically driven by their Pumpkinhead Ale, Smashed Pumpkin, and Pumpkinhead Hard Seltzer. “This suggests consumers were seeking these fall flavors this year more than last,” says Paquette.

Napa Valley’s Dominus Estate showed marked year-over-year growth last month, led by the Dominus Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. With an average unit price of $280, this indicates that high-end, luxury wines can drive significant growth for California wines. Two liqueurs — Pinaq, with their Original, Rosé, and Colada, and Luxardo Maraschino — topped the fast-growing spirits list, suggesting that consumers were stirring up cocktails in November.

Market Insights: Virginia Beach, Virginia

Over 140 7-Eleven stores in the state of Virginia have been added to Drizly, resulting in a surge of growth for the Virginia Beach market (which includes Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Newport News as well) in the month of November. Because of the chain’s stronghold, it has also resulted in the Virginia Beach market skewing more heavily towards beer (50 percent of share), followed by wine (45 percent), liquor (two percent), and extras (two percent).

Drizly’s Top-Selling Products in Virginia Beach, November 2021

  • Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA
  • Alamos Malbec
  • White Claw Hard Seltzer Variety Pack Flavor Collection No. 1
  • Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Bud Light
  • Coors Light American Lager Beer
  • White Claw Hard Seltzer Variety Pack Flavor Collection No. 2
  • Modelo Especial Mexican Lager Beer
  • TRULY Hard Seltzer Lemonade Variety Pack 
  • Barefoot Chardonnay

Unit Prices Are Increasing

Amidst supply shortages and soaring demand for popular categories, the average unit price on Drizly increased more than dollar year-over-year in November 2021 — translating to a seven percent increase compared to November 2020. This has been felt most acutely in the wine category, where average unit price has increased 7.5 percent year-over-year, but beer (three percent) and spirits (one percent) have also seen unit price increase. 

“This is a trend we will continue to watch in 2022 as prices and inflation continue to rise,” says Paquette. But it begs a question — will consumers continue to trade up, or will they become more price-conscious?