Drizly’s Top 5 Drink Trends to Watch in 2024
Premium tequila and ready-to-drink cocktails positioned to continue to lead growth, beer to see a resurgence
With 2023 behind us, which drinks trends are poised to have the biggest impact on the beverage alcohol industry in the coming year? To help answer this question, this year, Drizly surveyed 1,000 adults of legal drinking age about the drinks they plan to purchase most in 2024.
Some of these categories are building on strong momentum from prior years, while others are making a resurgence after lagging sales. Though inflation softened the premiumization trend last year, demand for premium beverages isn’t going anywhere – and in certain categories, it’s growing. Read on to learn about the top five beverage alcohol trends for 2024.
The Beer Category – Especially Lager – Is Poised for Growth
Beer tops the list of beverages that survey respondents plan to continue to consume in the coming year. Sixty-eight percent said they anticipate buying beer in 2024 compared to 67 percent who made that claim in the same survey the year prior. This is a potential reversal of the five-year trend on Drizly where beer share has been on the decline, dropping from 18 percent share of total sales in 2019 to 14 percent share in 2023.
At the same time, fewer consumers – 34 percent this year compared to 37 percent the prior year – anticipate purchasing hard seltzer next year. This tracks with trends in 2022 and 2023; within the beer category on Drizly, hard seltzer share is down, from 19 percent share to 17 percent year-over-year.
“Hard seltzer’s share has been on the decline for the past two years,” says Liz Paquette, the head of consumer insights at Drizly. “Part of this is driven by the rise in ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails as well as renewed interest in light lager, which compete closely with the hard seltzer category.”
It’s also a reflection of the growth of mainstay beer subcategories such as light lager, which led the beer category in this year’s survey. More consumers – 43 percent compared to 38 percent the previous year – indicated that they plan to drink lager in the coming year, more than any other beer subcategory.
Seasonal beer was the second-most popular choice among survey respondents, seeing a slight uptick in consumers’ purchasing plans (from 34 percent to 35 percent year-over-year). Stout also saw gains; in 2023, 12 percent of respondents said they planned to purchase it in the coming year, while 15 percent made that claim for 2024.
In terms of Drizly platform sales, “core beer” – excluding hard seltzer – saw slight year-over-year sales gains during the last three months, from 11.8 percent of total sales in October to December 2022 to 12 percent in October to December 2023. Over the same time periods, light lager share is up from 18 percent in 2022 to 19.5 percent in 2023. American style lager share also increased year-over-year from 7 percent to 8 percent, while dry stout is up slightly from 1.1 percent share to 1.2 percent.
Premium Tequila Continues its Rise
Tequila has been among the fastest-growing categories on Drizly over the past five years, though growth has slowed in the past year; the category sat at 19 percent of the liquor category in 2022 and 2023. However, in the past year reposado tequila has gained share over silver/blanco, pointing to growing interest in more premium tequila styles.
Among survey respondents who said they plan to purchase tequila in 2024, 19 percent said they anticipate spending $200 or more per bottle. This was the No. 2 response after the $25 to $49 price range, cited by 26 percent of tequila drinkers. In 2023, tequilas priced at $100 or more per bottle accounted for 26 percent of all tequila sales on Drizly.
More than a quarter of consumers are looking for high-end tequilas to sip in 2024, while 74 percent plan to mix the spirit into cocktails in the coming year.
“We believe the trend of sipping tequila versus using it as a cocktail ingredient is one of the key drivers of this trend as more premium products are typically associated with this use case,” says Paquette. “Increased consumer knowledge of the category as well as role as gifts have also contributed to the trend.”
Consumers Ready to Try New RTD Cocktails
Thirty-four percent of survey participants, up from 32 percent last year, said they plan to buy RTD cocktails in the coming year, and the majority plan to try new brands in 2024.
Reflecting the ever-increasing popularity of the category, the number of RTD cocktail producers on Drizly surged 47 percent in the past year to more than 1,000. Ready-to-drink cocktails have risen to 3 percent share of total sales on Drizly in 2023, surpassing hard seltzer which sits at 2 percent of share.
“In the beginning, the appeal of the category was a result of several attributes, including its correlation to the cocktail boom and the diversity of options,” says Paquette. “Many consumers also reached for RTDs because the category offered more ingredient transparency than competing categories like hard seltzer. As the category matures, it continues to expand the breadth of the offerings, with nearly every popular cocktail now available in a convenient, ready-to-enjoy format.”
According to Drizly’s survey, the top factors that entice consumers to try a new RTD cocktail brand include:
- A type of cocktail that I love (59 percent)
- A new type of cocktail I was curious to try (58 percent)
- A recommendation from friends or family (48 percent)
- Price point (46 percent)
- It’s made by a spirits company I am familiar with, like Jack Daniel’s or Jose Cuervo (45 percent)
Non-Alcoholic Drinks Are Prime for Takeoff
The non-alcoholic (NA) drinks trend, a category that has grown 62 percent year-over-year in 2023, isn’t slowing down. Sixty-three percent of survey respondents reported that they have tried or intend to try zero-proof beverages in 2024, and a notable one-third specifically plan to drink mocktails.
“This coincides with the soaring growth we have seen in the non-alcoholic spirits category in particular in the past year,” Paquette says. “Share is up 167 percent in 2023 to date compared to 2022, making it among the fastest-growing subcategories on the platform.”
The majority (57 percent) of survey participants who anticipate drinking non-alcoholic beverages next year expect to do so while relaxing at home. They also plan to enjoy NA drinks at social events, when hosting friends, and during outdoor activities.
Inflation’s Impact is Softening
Despite rising costs, 40 percent of those surveyed do not plan to change their drinks-buying behaviors in 2024 due to inflation. This reflects an increase over the previous year, when 35 percent of consumers expressed a similar sentiment. Only 19 percent of respondents anticipate buying less alcohol overall in response to inflation, compared to 28 percent the previous year.
Even so, consumers are slightly more inclined to look for deals in 2024, according to the survey results. In 2023, 34 percent of participants said they planned to proactively shop for deals in the coming year, while 35 percent made the same claim for 2024.