Seasonal trends continued to drive innovation during Q3 of 2022, with the most popular new products on Drizly during July, August, and September reflecting summer vibes even as autumn began taking hold. In essence, Q3 saw an expansion of Q2’s early summer trends including lemon flavors, value-added packs, and non-holiday releases of special-edition spirits.

“New ready-to-drink (RTD) and hard seltzer flavor innovations were widespread on this list, similar to last year’s Q3, as brands released new flavors for summer and early fall months,” says Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights. “The trend in blurred lines between hard seltzer, hard lemonade, and ready-to-drink cocktails was prevalent on this quarter’s list as brands continue with innovation within these categories to compete with one another.” 

While RTDs and hard seltzers dominated the popular products list, rosé wines also spiked in Q3 – a divergence from traditional trends where pink wines see growth in Q2. Traditional beers lagged, though Goose Island Next Coast IPA landed among the top 20 most popular new products last quarter.

Read on for BevAlc Insights’ intel behind this season’s most popular new products.

RTDs and Seltzers Align 

Convenient, portable, and available in a dizzying array of flavors, RTDs and hard seltzers are continuing to expand their strong foothold with consumers. While some analysts predicted slowing growth for these categories as competition increased, consumers have shown a seemingly inexhaustible appetite for these products.

“The rise of RTDs shows no signs of stopping, and continues to blur lines with hard seltzer,” says Paquette. “This is perhaps most evident with Topo Chico hard seltzer, which has taken the category by storm in the past year – and whose newly released margarita flavor took the top spot this quarter.” 

In Q3, RTDs and hard seltzers accounted for a full 50 percent of the most popular new products released. Overall, the most successful products take advantage of classic flavors like margarita, the most popular RTD flavor across Drizly. Popular on-premise cocktail offerings like espresso martinis are also gaining traction with consumers in the RTD space.

In addition to Topo Chico’s Margarita Variety Pack, the most popular products in Q3 included a range of flavor variety packs including High Noon Tailgate Variety Pack Vodka Hard Seltzer, White Claw Surf Variety Pack, and Mom Water Variety Pack Mom Squad. High Noon Peach Vodka Hard Seltzer, Flying Embers Cherry Hibiscus Lime, and On The Rocks Effen Vodka Espresso Martini Ready To Drink were the single-flavor RTD products among the season’s top 20 most popular new products. 

Lemon Flavors Remain King

The hard lemonade category has been expanding steadily since 2021, with the launch of Simply Spiked Lemonade and similar flavors from across brands. This quarter, three of the top 10 most popular new products were riffs on hard lemonade. Spanning both the hard seltzer and RTD categories, lemon flavors have now been a leading new product category for two consecutive quarters in 2022. 

“Lemonade and lemon flavors were big winners this quarter as new brands like Simply Spiked Lemonade rose to the top along with flavors from existing top brands like High Noon Lemon and White Claw Refreshr Lemonade,” says Paquette, suggesting that retailers should consider stocking well-known hard lemonade options for their customers.

Special Edition Whiskeys See Success

The most popular spirits category on Drizly, whiskey continues to dominate new spirits releases. This quarter, whiskey accounted for 20 percent of the most popular new products on Drizly, with new releases spanning whiskey subcategories including Scotch, bourbon, and straight whiskeys. 

“Several whiskey products topped the list including two new Jack Daniel’s releases, the Bonded Tennessee Whiskey and Triple Mash Blended Straight Whiskey,” Paquette. Other popular new products included The Balvenie 16 Year French Oak Pineau Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Basil Hayden Subtle Smoke Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. 

Notably, all of these products fall into the “special edition” whiskey subcategory which has been experiencing sustained growth, suggesting whiskey-loving consumers are eager to experiment within their preferred category. As year-round gifting trends have expanded, these bottles likewise have increased appeal as gifts – making stocking special edition whiskeys a smart move for retailers. 

Other spirits subcategories were largely absent from the Q3 most popular new products list. Only Gran Coramino Cristalino Reposado Tequila made the list, suggesting consumers were not as hungry for new agave-based spirits last quarter – perhaps preferring to stick with old favorites.

Rosé Wine Sees a Boost

While rosé wines typically gain share during Q2 as wineries release freshly bottled new vintages, rosé wines were fully absent from Q2’s popular new products list. Instead, two products – Les Vignobles Gueissard Le Petit Gueissard Rosé and l’Escarelle Palm Rosé – jumped onto the Q3 popular products list. 

While this is a divergence from standard seasonal trends, it could be indicative of delays in receiving these products stateside – and consumers were clearly ready for rosé throughout the summer. The Santa Margherita Gift Set also made the most popular products list, showing the year-round staying power of value-added sets.