During the first month of 2021’s end-of-year sales push, consumer purchases on Drizly are starting to indicate coming holiday trends. Some—like the ongoing strength of tequila and a return to traditional brands—indicate that consumers are reaching for what’s familiar, while others—such as increasing average order value and demand for Italian wines—indicate that consumers are starting to purchase seasonally. Explore these takeaways and more with five insights from Drizly’s October 2021 sales.

Top-Selling October Wine, Beer, and Spirits Categories

Now a fixture among Drizly’s top-selling spirits categories, ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails also held the top spot in October. The category’s strength beyond the summer indicates that consumers are continuing to reach for RTDs in cooler months as well. Hard iced tea was the fastest-growing beer category, led by Twisted Tea and Loverboy; launched in 2001, Twisted Tea in particular is experiencing a resurgence. 

And just like in September 2020, Italian wines experienced an uptick last month; Amarone della Valpolicella and Brunello di Montalcino were the fastest-growing wine styles year-over-year, led by bottles from Argiano, Fattoria La Lecciaia, and Castiglion del Bosco (Brunello di Montalcino) and Masi and Tommasi (Amarone della Valpolicella).

Halloween Insights: Red Wine, RTD, and Tequila Wins

Halloween was a big weekend on Drizly, with sales up 22 percent compared to the average of the previous four weekends. Average order value was also up 5.2 percent on Sunday, October 31 compared to the previous four Sundays. “suggesting customers buy slightly more when shopping for occasions,” says Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights.

Though liquor was the top-selling category on Halloween (41 percent share) it lost share compared to beer (18 percent) and wine (38 percent), which each saw share gains. Liquor also lost share from Halloween 2020, when it held 45 percent of share. RTDs and tequila were winners, though, each experiencing gains over October 2021 overall; RTDs gained one percentage point of share to hold four percent, while silver/blanco tequila increased from 10 percent in October 2021 to 12 percent on Halloween. Espolòn specifically moved from the No. 8 liquor SKU in October to No. 3 over Halloween weekend.

Within the wine and beer categories, red wine and hard seltzer saw gains. Red wine increased from 32 percent of share in October 2021 overall to 34 percent of share over Halloween, and hard seltzer increased from 21 percent to 24 percent over the same time periods. White wine and Champagne both experienced slight share losses.

Product Gains: Tequila, Traditional Beer Brands, and Low-Cal Wines

“An interesting trend emerged among the top 10 fastest-growing beer brands year-over-year this October—a resurgence in more traditional beer and beer alternative brands seeing renewed growth,” says Paquette. Five of the top 10 brands were established ones, including Foster’s, Icehouse, Twisted Tea, Seagram’s Escapes, and Mike’s Harder. 

As it did on Halloween weekend, tequila came out on top with the fastest-growing liquor brands. DeLéon and LALO were among Drizly’s fastest-growing brands last month, and Mamitas, a tequila-based RTD, also ranked high. Wine product trends indicated increasing consumer interest for “better-for-you” wine brands, as Cupcake’s LightHearted (which boasts 80 calories per serving) led growth among wine brands in October. Pinot Grigio, rosé, and Chardonnay SKUs were all popular.

Market Insights: Atlanta

Atlanta was one of Drizly’s fastest-growing markets year-over-year, following alcohol delivery legalization in the state of Georgia in 2020. Liquor over-indexes in the Atlanta market, holding 54 percent share of sales in October (compared to 45 percent nationally). Vodka was the top subcategory sold in the market, followed by red wine, with SKUs like Tito’s, Hennessy V.S Cognac, Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label Champagne, La Marca Prosecco, and Casamigos Blanco ranking among the top sellers.

Drizly’s Top-Selling Local Brands in the Atlanta Market, October 2021

  • Creature Comforts
  • SweetWater Brewing Company
  • Terrapin Beer Company
  • Monday Night Brewing
  • Three Taverns Brewery
  • 13th Colony
  • Wild Leap Brew Co
  • Atlanta Hard Cider
  • Dry County Spirits
  • Orpheus Brewing

Consumers Are Placing Larger Orders

The average order value in October was 3.5 percent higher year-over-year, growing to nearly $66, —suggesting that consumers are placing larger orders. “This potentially points to the increase in gathering as we enter the holiday seasons with Covid impacts on the decline,” says Paquette.