BevAlc Insights’ 2022 Holiday Gift Guide for Retailers
Forecasting this season’s top alcohol gifts based on 2022 sales and gifting trends
It’s no secret that the holiday season is high time for beverage sales, particularly as consumers splurge on special bottles as gifts for friends and family members. Though many celebrations this year will resemble pre-pandemic ones, with people traveling and gathering with loved ones in person, the shift to online alcohol gifting has stuck. That means retailers should prepare for another busy holiday gifting season.
This year, gift orders have represented 11 percent of overall sales on Drizly — a full percentage point more than they represented this time last year. This December, that number will likely soar. But which subcategories and products will consumers be gifting during the 2022 holiday season?
Champagne led the pack for gifts last December, with red wine and spirits — especially whiskey and tequila categories — following close behind. With these sales trends in mind, retailers should stock up on luxury items such as Champagne, premium red wine, and high-end spirits, as consumers typically splurge on gifts. During the last 12 months, the average unit price in gift orders on Drizly is $46.80 — up from $39.20 the previous year and more than double the average price per unit of $18.80 for standard orders.
Based on Drizly’s gift sales data from the past 12 months, as well as overall gifting trends, these are the subcategories and products poised to top gift lists this year.
Champagne and Sparkling Wine
Once again, Champagne and sparkling wine top the list of most-gifted categories on Drizly. In the past 12 months, Champagne and sparkling wine have accounted for 31 percent share of gift orders, up from 30 percent at this time last year. Within the Champagne and sparkling wine category, Champagne accounts for the vast majority of gifts at 86 percent share, followed by sparkling rosé at eight percent share.
Among the most-gifted Champagnes so far this year are Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label Champagne (both in a standard bottle, a gift box, and a 1.5-liter bottle), Dom Pérignon Vintage Champagne, Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut Champagne, and Perrier-Jouët’s Belle Epoque and Grand Brut Champagnes. Two rosé Champagnes also made the list, from Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot.
Scotch, Bourbon, and Other Whiskeys
Whiskey accounted for 26 percent share of gift orders over the last 12 months, topped by two subcategories: Scotch and bourbon. Last year, Scotch ranked as the most-gifted whiskey subcategory, but this year bourbon gained two percentage points to hold 38 percent of whiskey gifting share — just slightly outpacing Scotch at 37 percent.
Consumer tendencies to spend big on gift orders are evident from the list of most-gifted whiskey SKUs on Drizly. Retailers can bank on premium Scotch whiskies like The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old, The Macallan Double Cask 15 Year Old, Oban 14 Year Single Malt, and Lagavulin 16 Year, as well as classic bourbons like Angel’s Envy, Blanton’s Single Barrel, and Basil Hayden. One popular Japanese whisky made the most-gifted list as well: Hibiki Japanese Harmony Whisky.
As the category with the highest share of overall sales on Drizly, red wine is also a go-to item for gifters, comprising 14 percent of gift orders during the past year. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most-gifted red varietal wine at 62 percent share, followed by Pinot Noir at 15 percent. California — specifically Napa Valley — should be a source for retailer gifts, as all of Drizly’s 10 most-gifted red wines come from the state, and seven come from Napa Valley. They include wines from well-known producers like Caymus, Silver Oak, Stag’s Leap, and Opus One.
In recent years, tequila has become an increasingly stronger player in alcohol gifting, accounting for 12 percent of gift order share in the past 12 months — up from 10 percent at this time last year. Tequila gift share by subcategory over the last 12 months skews more toward reposado and añejo than overall tequila sales on Drizly; over the last 12 months, reposado held 36 percent of gift order share, while añejo held 31 percent. Premium tequilas have seen particularly high share growth, especially when it comes to gifts.
While Clase Azul Reposado Tequila and Don Julio 1942, an añejo tequila, were the most-gifted items in the last year, silver/blanco tequilas like Casamigos Blanco, Patrón Silver, and Don Julio Blanco also made the top 10 list.
The average unit price of gift orders is on the rise. The average order totaled $47 in the past 12 months compared to $39 in 2021, showing a 16 percent year-over-year increase. This holiday season, predicts Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights, consumers will spend even more on gifts than in previous years.
Champagne is one of the top-gifted luxury items (priced at $75 and up) and consumers frequently reach for Dom Pérignon and Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne. For spirits, Clase Azul Reposado Tequila, Don Julio 1942, and The Macallan Double Cask 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky are among the top luxury gifts. Hibiki Japanese Harmony Whisky has been another popular gift option during the past 12 months.
To maximize sales across consumers, retailers should also understand the most-gifted wines in more budget-friendly price points. Nine of the top 10 most-gifted items under $25 on Drizly fall into the wine category, and bottles like La Marca Prosecco, Whispering Angel Rosé, La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, and Chandon Brut Sparkling are especially likely to wind up in a gift bag. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is the lone spirits SKU on the 10 most-gifted Drizly products under $25 list.
Fastest-Growing Gift Items
Ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails accounted for a two percent share of gift orders on Drizly in the past 12 months, up from one percent the previous year. “This is among the hottest categories on Drizly overall,” says Paquette, “so it’s one to watch for gifting as consumers potentially gift pre-mixed cocktails over ingredients to make favorite drinks.”
This year, the High Noon Hard Seltzer Variety Pack has been the most popular gift in the RTD category and is among Drizly’s top 10 fastest-growing gift items in 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. Retailers should also consider stocking up on Howler Head Banana Infused Kentucky Straight Bourbon, the fastest-growing gift item, along with Decoy Pinot Noir.
Drizly’s Fastest-Growing Gifted Items, 2022 to Date
- Howler Head Banana Infused Kentucky Straight Bourbon
- Decoy Pinot Noir 750ml Bottle
- The Macallan Double Cask 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
- Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml Bottle
- High Noon Hard Seltzer Variety Pack
- Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 750ml Bottle
- Basil Hayden Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Hampton Water Rose
- Clase Azul Gold Tequila
- Basil Hayden Toast Bourbon Whiskey