The third quarter of the year—July, August, and September—encompasses a wide range of seasonal drinking preferences, from the peak of outdoor summer revelry to the onset of cozy pumpkin spice season. On Drizly, the quarter’s bestselling new beverages signal consumer willingness to experiment and indulge, especially on limited-edition and celebrity-endorsed bottlings.  

“Despite the impact of inflation and slowing premiumization overall, this list shows that consumers are still willing to splurge on premium products, particularly in the tequila and whiskey categories,” says Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights. “This is a key trend for retailers to keep an eye on as we enter the holiday season since consumers tend to spend more per bottle, particularly on gifts.”

Read on to discover BevAlc Insights’ analysis of these new products and the trends behind them. Plus, learn how well-stocked retailers can take advantage in the coming months. 

Splurge-Worthy Spirits Keep Winning

Forty percent of the most popular new products on Drizly in Q3 2023 were spirits, falling in line with multi-year trends. In 2023 to date, liquor makes up 46 percent of total share – a full percentage point increase from 2022. 

Continuing to build on long-term liquor trends, limited-edition offerings – particularly in red-hot categories like tequila and whiskey – showed their staying power with consumers this quarter. 

“I think these collaborations are something new and buzzworthy that catches consumers’ attention and entices them,” says Paquette, “Especially when coming from brands drinkers already know and trust.”

Meanwhile, 33 percent of the most popular new products in Q3 were limited-edition releases, demonstrating consumers’ enthusiasm for products made in collaboration with their favorite brands, teams, and public figures. Top-selling new, limited-edition releases in Q3 included Lobos 1707 Tequila Limited Edition Añejo, Grey Goose Vodka Limited Edition Night Vision Lumiere, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami Blended Scotch Whisky, and Hennessy V.S Hip Hop 50th Year Anniversary Nas Limited Edition. 

Interestingly, Q3 also saw the introduction of popular collaborations between major sports teams and distilleries, with the Hennessy V.S. NBA Collector Edition Gift Box and Bottle and Hudson Whiskey “Official Bourbon of the Mets” Limited Edition releases both making Drizly’s top 20 list. 

The sustained growth of collaborative, limited-edition releases offers an opportunity for significant gain among well-stocked retailers since these products continue to draw high-dollar spending from consumers. Paquette advises retailers to monitor release schedules for these products to take advantage of the trend. “Knowing that these limited-edition SKUs, particularly in the spirits category, continue to gain consumer attention, retailers should ensure they get them in their inventory, both in-store and online, in time for the media coverage that surrounds these releases.” 

Jefferson’s Tropics Singapore Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey and Tequila Komos Añejo Reserva also made Drizly’s top new products list. 

Seasonal Shifts Emerge Among Ready-to-Drink Cocktails 

Seasonal preferences are beginning to emerge within the maturing ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktail category. This fall in particular, newly released Old Fashioned-flavored RTDs proved popular with consumers, such as The Glenlivet Twist & Mix Old Fashioned and Tip Top Proper Cocktails Old Fashioned. This aligns with traditional seasonal shifts that see consumers switching to whiskey during fall months. 

Lightweight and easygoing RTD flavors, such as lemonade and iced tea, also remained popular in Q3 of 2023, such as the Surfside Starter Pack and Surfside Orange Vodka Soda. 

Overall, the success of these conventional flavors indicate that RTDs modeled on classic, consistently available cocktails provide a win for retailers. “The Surfside pack features iced tea and lemonade flavors, two flavor profiles that have seen continued popularity among consumers,” says Paquette. “So it can be implied that RTDs that lean into popular flavors in other categories will continue to be popular among RTDs year-round.”

Pumpkin Spice Is Still Nice

Delivering on customary seasonal trends, pumpkin-flavored brews were the only beers to make it onto Q3’s most popular new products list, indicating squash-flavored suds still boast wide appeal among consumers.

The Southern Tier Caramel Pumpkin Imperial Ale and Cape May Brewing Co. Pick of the Batch both made Drizly’s top 20 last quarter. 

Wine Is a Wildcard

Wine doubled its share among popular new products for Q3 this year compared to 2022, accounting for 20 percent of popular new releases – up from just 10 percent last year. 

The popular new wines spanned subcategories with sparkling, red, and orange wines attracting attention this season, signifying that consumers are getting more comfortable purchasing a diverse set of wines. The most popular new wines were Les Amies Chanteuses Côtes Du Rhône, Orsogna Lunaria Ramoro Pinot Grigio Ancestral Orange Wine, Gimonnet Gonet L’accord Champagne, and Bojo Do Luar Vinho Rosé Luiza Pet Nat Sparkling. 

While this data could suggest an uptick in future wine sales, the category is down overall on Drizly this year, dropping from 38 percent in 2022 to 37 percent in 2023 to date.