BevAlc Insights’ 2020 Holiday Gift Guide for Retailers
Looking at 2019 data and 2020 trends to predict this holiday season’s top gift items
Gifting always plays an important role amidst the holidays, but this year, it’s likely to be more important than ever. With COVID-19 restrictions tightening once again, consumers will be looking to spread holiday cheer from afar with beverages gifted through online purchasing and delivery. But which subcategories and products will consumers be gifting during the 2020 holiday season?
Holiday gift purchasing started earlier this year, with order volume for gifts up 600 percent year-over-year on Drizly by October. Last year, spirits comprised the majority of gift sales share (51.65 percent) — a trend that is likely to continue, considering liquor’s increasing share of sales throughout 2020 — though wine wasn’t far behind (45.58 percent). Despite the continuing hard seltzer boom, beer does not typically represent a large portion of gift sales.
Based on Drizly’s gift sales data from December 2019 and overall 2020 trends, these are the subcategories and SKUs poised to top gift lists this year.
Champagne and Sparkling Wine
Champagne and sparkling wine are fixtures of the holiday season, so it’s no surprise that they continuously comprise the most-gifted category on Drizly. In 2019, the top three gifted items were Champagne SKUs, and year-to-date, 22.27 percent of all Champagne and sparkling wine sales have been gift orders.
Among the most-gifted Champagnes in December 2019 were Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label Champagne (both in a standard bottle and in a gift box), Dom Pérignon Vintage Champagne, and Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut Champagne. Other SKUs have joined these top sellers this year, including Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne and Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve Exclusive.
As the category with the highest share of sales overall on Drizly, red wines also make popular gift items throughout the holiday season. Prestigious, well-known Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons or Bordeaux blends like Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or Stag’s Leap Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon rank among the most-gifted red wines year after year.
Scotch (and Other Whiskeys)
Scotch is a notoriously popular holiday beverage, particularly for special corporate gifts. In recent years, many consumers have shifted away from entry-level options towards higher-end, single malt Scotch whiskies. Expect premium Scotches like The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old and Lagavulin 16 Year Old Islay Single Malt to be frequently-purchased gift items alongside classic consumer favorites like Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky.
Whiskey in general is a popular category for gifts throughout the holiday season; Hibiki Japanese Harmony Whisky was among the top 10 gift items last year, and products like Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon are poised to be popular as well.
Tequila has been one of the fastest-growing spirits categories on Drizly over the past few years, and 2020 saw the category’s popularity soar. Premium tequilas in particular have seen high share growth, so consumers are likely to reach for high-end tequilas as gift options even more than they have in previous years. Both Don Julio 1942 and Clase Azul Reposado Tequila were among Drizly’s most-gifted items last December, but expect to see other premium options, like El Tesoro Plata Premium Tequila Blanco, become popular gifts as well.
Spirits for Cocktails
Given the uptick in at-home bartending throughout 2020, which set sales of both spirits and liqueurs soaring, consumers may be looking for interesting products to gift to their fellow cocktail enthusiasts. Whiskeys like the Wild Turkey Rare Breed and Russell’s Reserve 10-Year Bourbon will be popular choices for hearty, winter cocktails like old fashioneds and boulevardiers. Spritzes have also continued to be popular among consumers, making items like Aperol (for the classic Aperol spritz) and Grand Marnier Louis Alexandre (for the signature Grand 75) sought-after, creative gift options.
Though gift orders on Drizly currently average above $60, the early days of the pandemic saw consumers increasingly reach for budget-friendly gift options. While consumers are more likely to splurge for holiday gifts than for everyday gifting in March and April, some may continue to seek out value-driven gift items during the 2020 holidays. Many of these budget-friendly gifts were alternatives within popular gift categories, such as La Marca Prosecco, Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, and Casamigos Blanco.