As consumers increasingly turn to e-commerce for their alcohol purchases, they’ve also started to use beverage e-commerce for gifts year-round. In fact, Drizly’s 2022 Consumer Report shows that “just because” gifting is on the rise, particularly among Gen Z purchasers.

And it’s not just during the holiday season. Summer gift orders rose from four percent share of sales on Drizly in 2019 to nine percent share in the summer of 2021. In 2022 to date, gift orders have accounted for a 10 percent share of orders, which suggests summer gift sales will continue to rise this year. 

Fifty-four percent of alcohol consumers made their first online alcohol purchase since 2020, according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. Projections show this won’t slow down, either. The market research group found that, looking ahead to 2025, U.S. consumers will have an average annual growth rate of 20 percent for alcohol e-commerce.

Retailers should pay special attention to gift orders because consumers typically spend more on gifts. The average unit price for gift orders on Drizly in 2021 was more than double the typical average unit price within the Champagne and sparkling wine subcategory ($57.50 versus $21.80), and close to double for whiskey ($70.40 versus $34.40) and tequila ($75.50 versus $43.70) gift orders.

Wine and liquor are the two most gifted categories overall, and that’s true in the summer season as well. But it’s wine and beer that slightly over-index in the summer, with wine holding a 51 percent share of gift orders in summer 2021 (versus a 50 percent share over the whole year) and beer holding a five percent share of summer gift orders compared to a four percent overall gift order share. Liquor had a 43 percent share in summer 2021 (versus a 44 percent share year-round).

Wine gifts dominate

Wine gift orders on Drizly reflect seasonal trends as well as overall gifting trends. Champagne and sparkling wine made up a 65 percent share of summer gift orders in 2021 versus a 61 percent share over the whole year. Rosé had a five percent summer gifting share compared to a three percent share throughout 2021. Red wine, while still the second most gifted subcategory, has a lower summer gifting share of 23 percent versus a 27 percent year-round gifting share in the wine category.

Within Champagne and sparkling wine, Champagne had the highest subcategory share in the summer months with 83 percent, followed by sparkling rosé (10 percent share), Prosecco (four percent share), and American sparkling (two percent share).

Drizly’s top-selling wine gifts, summer 2021

  1. Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label Champagne
  2. Dom Pérignon Vintage Champagne
  3. Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut Champagne
  4. Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Gift Box Champagne
  5. Veuve Clicquot Rose Champagne
  6. Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  7. Whispering Angel Rosé
  8. La Marca Prosecco
  9. Moët & Chandon Impérial Rosé Champagne
  10. Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve Exclusive

Liquor reflects strong summer gift order trends

Like with wine, the most popular subcategories for spirits gifts are the same in the summer as throughout the year. Whiskey, however, under-indexes with a 53 percent share of summer gift orders in 2021 versus a 58 percent year-round gift order share. Tequila over-indexes (29 percent summer gift share versus 25 percent), as does vodka (six percent versus five percent). Gin has a three percent gift order share in the summer and throughout the year, while mezcal, brandy, rum, ready-to-drink cocktails, and liqueurs all have a two percent gift order share.

Tequila is an especially notable liquor category for gifting. As tequila’s share of liquor sales has continued to increase over the past couple of years, so has its share of gift orders. While only a 10 percent share of tequila sales on Drizly were gift orders in 2020, that rose to more than 15 percent over the past year. For añejo tequilas, a 26 percent share of sales were gifts.

Narrowing it down just to the summer, blanco tequila was the most popular subcategory for gift orders in 2021 with a 36 percent share. Reposado came next with a 32 percent summer gift order share, followed by añejo tequila with a 30 percent share. 

Drizly’s top-selling liquor gifts, summer 2021

  1. Clase Azul Reposado Tequila 
  2. Don Julio 1942
  3. Casamigos Blanco
  4. Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whiskey
  5. The Macallan Double Cask 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  6. Hibiki Japanese Harmony Whisky
  7. Tito’s Handmade Vodka
  8. Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon
  9. Patrón Silver Tequila
  10. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Summer sees increased beer gift order share

Light beers and hard seltzer win out for summer gift orders on Drizly. Hard seltzer (17 percent summer gift order share versus 15 percent year-round), light lager (11 percent versus 10 percent), American-style lager (six percent versus five percent), and pale lager (three percent versus two percent) all over-indexed on gift order share in the summer of 2021. IPA slightly under-indexes, but it still has the second highest share of summer gift orders after hard seltzer with a 12 percent share. 

Drizly’s top-selling beer gifts, summer 2021

  1. White Claw Hard Seltzer Variety Pack No. 1
  2. Bud Light
  3. Corona Extra Mexican Lager Beer
  4. Coors Light American Lager Beer
  5. Stella Artois
  6. Miller Lite Lager Beer
  7. Michelob Ultra
  8. Smirnoff Ice Original
  9. White Claw Hard Seltzer Variety Pack No. 3
  10. Heineken Lager