A key way to reach new and existing customers is to have the products they’re looking for in stock and ready to deliver. Understanding trends in category growth nationally, as well as in your own market, can help your shop stay a few steps ahead of the trends. At BevAlc Insights, we examined Drizly’s sales data to help you make smarter buying decisions that lead to a faster sell through and a higher return on your inventory investment.

Drizly’s Top 10 Categories, Based on Share of Sales

  1. Red wine: 12 percent share 
  2. White wine: 11 percent share 
  3. Vodka: nine percent share 
  4. Bourbon: six percent share 
  5. Champagne: six percent share
  6. Silver / blanco tequila: four percent share 
  7. Scotch whisky: three percent share 
  8. Hard seltzer: three percent share 
  9. Rosé wine: two percent share
  10. Reposado tequila: two percent share 

The list looks similar to the previous 12 months with a few slight share shifts, as well as the addition of reposado tequila in the place of light lager. One notable change is the rise in average unit price among the subcategories with the largest share.

“Among the average unit price of the top 10 subcategories in 2022 versus 2021, all categories have seen year-over-year gains except vodka,” says Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights.

The subcategories that have seen the biggest year-over-year increases in average unit price are reposado tequila ($61.50 in 2022 versus $56.90 in 2021), Champagne ($53.80 versus $50.70), and Scotch whisky ($73.10 versus $71.60).

At the national level, the subcategories with the highest share of sales are remarkably consistent: Red wine, white wine, vodka, and bourbon rise to the top 4. During the summer months, white wine typically overtakes red wine as customers seek out something lighter to pair with warmer weather. 

Wine Continues to Hold Top Positions, With Champagne Rising

Wine remains a consistent seller on Drizly. It held four of the top 10 subcategories (red wine, white wine, Champagne, and rosé) over the past 12 months, which was also the case in the prior 12 month period in the same time of year. In the case of Champagne, the position has even strengthened. While Champagne remained the number five top-selling subcategory year-over-year, it saw share gains from five percent to six percent — the same share level as bourbon.

Retailers in certain locations should pay special attention to Champagne. New York City, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, and San Diego all over-index in Champagne sales. In New Jersey and Boston, Champagne has the fourth-highest share compared to the fifth-highest share nationally, and in New York City, Champagne holds the third position.

On Drizly, the top-selling Champagne brands include Veuve Clicquot, Moët & Chandon, Dom Perignon, and Perrier-Jouët.

Liquor Subcategories, Joined by Reposado Tequila, Win Out

Liquor accounts for five of the top 10 top-selling subcategories in the past 12 months. In the 12 months prior (May 2020 to May 2021), four liquor subcategories made the list. This reflects the rise in popularity of reposado tequila, the newest liquor subcategory to make it in the top 10 over the past year.

New York City, Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas, and Miami all over-index for reposado tequila sales on Drizly compared to the rest of the country. 

One factor helping tequila over the past couple of years of growth has been consumer willingness to spend more for tequila as they begin to understand it can be more than just a shooter. “We have really started to see premiumization take hold in the tequila category, with more upper-tier brands entering the space,” Paquette says, noting that tequilas priced $30 or more are seeing a greater share of growth than lower priced products. The top selling reposado tequilas include SKUs from Clase Azul, Casamigos, Hornitos, Espolón, and Teremana.

One interesting note in the liquor category is that vodka remains the number three best-selling subcategory on Drizly. In fact, even as the liquor category sees more subcategories take share from vodka, vodka’s overall share on Drizly has increased over the past 12 months from eight percent to nine percent.

Beer Category Lags Nationally With Exception of Hard Seltzer

On the national level, hard seltzer is the only beer subcategory that makes it onto the list of the top 10 overall. This is a change from the 12 months prior, when light lager came in at number 10 with a two percent share.

Hard seltzer’s overall share of sales held steady year-over-year at three percent. Its position in the top 10 selling subcategories, however, dropped from seven to eight as other subcategories rose. 

Looking at the percent share on a more local level tells a different story, however. In Boston and the state of New Jersey, light lager still has a place in the top 10 (number seven and number eight, respectively). In Boston and New Jersey, hard seltzer also holds a higher position of six versus eight. 

Though hard seltzer growth has slowed, it’s still a top-performing category to keep in stock going into the summer months, when sales see year round peak. The top-selling hard seltzers on Drizly are White Claw, Truly Hard Seltzer, Bud Light Seltzer, Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, and Vizzy.