Fall trends appeared to be in full swing last month as consumers showed interest in new categories and brands. Ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails were popular over Labor Day weekend and throughout the month, with consumers reaching for larger packs, while a popular 

California vacation spot became the fastest-growing market on Drizly. Explore these trends and more with these five insights from Drizly’s September 2022 sales.

Fastest-Growing Categories for September

A new spirits category experienced high year-over-year growth in September: Akvavit, also known as aquavit, an herbal, Scandinavian-origin liquor. Best-selling SKUs hailed from Norway and the U.S., including Linie Aquavit, Svöl Swedish-Style Aquavit, Hovding Aquavit, Krogstad Aquavit, and Aalborg Akvavit.

Within the wine category, the deep red variety Mourvèdre, also known as Monastrell, showed strong growth, led by bottles from Spain and California. Top sellers included Juan Gil, Honoro Vera Monastrell, Bodegas Ego Goru Monastrell, Cline Mourvèdre Ancient Vines, and Olivares Altos De La Hoya Monastrell. Dry stout – which typically peaks around St. Patrick’s Day – was also popular in September, led by Guinness’s draught, extra stout, and nitro cold brew. Harpoon and Murphy’s were also strong brands within the dry stout category.

Labor Day Weekend Insights

Looking at sales for Labor Day weekend 2022 (September 1 to September 5, 2022) versus sales for Labor Day weekend 2021 (September 2 to September 6, 2021), several trends emerge. The tequila category echoed recent year trends, showing a 14 percent growth in share year-over-year. Reposado tequila specifically experienced high growth, with a 28 percent share increase.

Hard seltzer and ready-to-drink trends were consistent with Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekend trends, with the latter experiencing an increase as the former declined. RTDs held a 4.2 percent share over the 2022 Labor Day weekend, which was a 40 percent increase in share over last year, while hard seltzer experienced a 17 percent year-over-year decrease to hold 3.8 percent of share in 2022.

Drizly’s Top-Selling Ready-To-Drink Brands, September 1 to 5, 2022

  1. High Noon
  2. Cutwater Spirits
  3. On The Rocks
  4. Jose Cuervo
  5. The Long Drink Company
  6. 1800 Tequila
  7. Buzzballz
  8. NÜTRL
  9. Fisher’s Island
  10. Loyal 9 Cocktails

Within the beer category, light lager also experienced a nine percent year-over-year growth in share compared to Labor Day weekend 2021, and American-style lager saw a 19 percent share growth. The IPA category experienced a 10 percent decrease in share.

Non-alcoholic alternatives also experienced growth, with each subset – non-alcoholic wine, beer, and spirits – experiencing some level of share growth within its respective category. The most significant increase was seen for non-alcoholic spirits, which experienced 50 percent share growth; however, it still holds the smallest share of the three, with .03 percent of the spirits category. Non-alcoholic wine and beer each experienced 20 percent growth to hold .18 percent and 1.02 percent share of their respective categories.

Market Insights: Lake Tahoe, California

Popular vacation spot Lake Tahoe, California, was the fastest-growing market on Drizly year-over-year. Liquor is by far the most popular category within this market, over-indexing at 57 percent of share (versus 45 percent nationwide). Lake Tahoe purchasers also over-index on beer (17 percent locally versus 15 percent nationwide) and on extras, which hold a whopping 17 percent share in Lake Tahoe versys two percent nationwide. Wine is not as popular to purchase online in this market; it holds just nine percent of share.

Drizly’s Top-Selling Subcategories in Lake Tahoe, California, September 2022

  1. Tequila
  2. Vodka
  3. Whiskey
  4. Food & Snacks
  5. Specialty Beer & Alternatives
  6. Lager
  7. Soda, Water, & Soft Beverages
  8. Gin
  9. White Wine
  10. Ale

September Brand Breakouts

Within the liquor and wine categories, European brands stepped into the spotlight. Italicus Liqueur saw breakout growth within the spirits category, driven by its single bergamot liqueur, which can be swapped into cocktails for unique flavor iterations. Within the wine category, Loire Valley producer Langlois-Chateau experienced significant year-over-year growth. Though the producer makes a wide range of sparkling and still wines throughout the region, its Sancerre was a top seller in September. 

Underscoring the continued impact of hard seltzer – and consumer willingness to branch out into new options – Happy Dad, a brand founded in 2021 by Youtube stars the Nelk Boys, experienced strong growth within the beer category last month. Its top seller was their 12-can variety pack, followed by their 24-can pack and their fruit punch 12-pack.

Consumers Double Down on Canned RTDs and Multipacks

Canned formats have dominated the modern ready-to-drink renaissance, and consumers are doubling down on these convenient, portable options on Drizly. With the RTD category, cans increased from 73.5 percent of share in September 2021 to 77 percent of share in September 2022. 

At the same time, Drizly purchasers are reaching for larger multipacks of canned RTDs; though four-packs remain the most popular size at 47 percent of share, that number is down from 54 percent last year. At the same time, eight-packs (28 percent of share), 12-packs (15 percent), and 24-packs (three percent) have all gained share.