Understanding which product subcategories and brands customers add to their carts when they start with purchasing beer can help retailers optimize their online inventory to encourage higher-order values and increase profit margins.

“On Drizly, consumers typically shop ‘product-first,’ which means they select the item they want to purchase, then decide which store they would like to buy it from,” explains Liz Paquette, head of consumer insights at Drizly. “Therefore, the most popular beer products customers add to their carts first are important for retailers to have in stock, because it helps them attract customers who are commonly looking for those items.”

From there, stores can boost order values by also stocking the subcategories and brands that are typically sold in the same baskets as the first-added beer items. Though some beer SKUs may be lower-margin items for retailers, customers on Drizly often purchase them alongside higher-margin products. 

The Top Beer Subcategory Pairings

Following are the most common basket additions for Drizly purchases that begin with beer. 

Drizly’s Top Beer Subcategory Pairings

  1. Hard Seltzer and Hard Seltzer 
  2. IPA and IPA 
  3. Light Lager and Hard Seltzer 
  4. Hard Seltzer and Vodka 
  5. Hard Seltzer and White Wine 
  6. Hard Seltzer and Red Wine 
  7. IPA and Red Wine 
  8. Light Lager and Light Lager 
  9. New England/Hazy IPA and IPA
  10. Light Lager and White Wine

Paquette notes that hard seltzer is most commonly sold with vodka, white wine, and red wine. This provides retailers with the greatest opportunity for cross-selling other wine and spirits items among those first-sought beer products. (When pairings are identical, this indicates that customers are either buying multiple units of a particular product or are purchasing more than one variety.)

The pairing of light lager with hard seltzer is another popular choice, which suggests crossover between seltzer and lager consumers. “The two categories have several similarities, including relatively low-calorie counts and lighter flavor profiles,” says Paquette. “There is also brand overlap among Drizly’s top 10 hard seltzer and light lager brands, such as Bud Light, Corona, and Michelob.” 

When making cross-category purchases, IPA consumers are most likely to add red wine to their baskets. “Both categories are often relatively heavier options,” Paquette says. “Similarly, light lager is most often paired with white wine — and both are lighter-style options.” 

The Top Beer Brand Pairings

Considering that hard seltzer holds the highest beer subcategory share on Drizly, retailers can readily increase basket value by understanding the brands most commonly paired with top-selling hard seltzers. Pairings of hard seltzer products with other seltzer brands, light lagers, and vodka indicate a consumer preference for lighter drinks with the most common hard seltzer brands, like White Claw and Truly.

Drizly’s Top Hard Seltzer Brand Pairings, Year-to-Date

  1. White Claw and White Claw
  2. Truly and Truly 
  3. White Claw and Tito’s
  4. White Claw and Bud Light
  5. White Claw and Truly
  6. Truly and White Claw
  7. Truly and Tito’s
  8. White Claw and Corona
  9. Truly Hard Seltzer and Bud Light
  10. White Claw and High Noon

Drizly’s Top IPA Brand Pairings, Year-to-Date

  1. Maine Beer Company and Maine Beer Company
  2. Night Shift and Night Shift
  3. Sierra Nevada and Lagunitas
  4. Lagunitas and White Claw
  5. Founders Brewing Company and Lagunitas
  6. Sierra Nevada and Sierra Nevada
  7. Stone Brewing Co. and Stone Brewing Co.
  8. Dogfish Head and Lagunitas
  9. Sierra Nevada and Voodoo Ranger
  10. Sierra Nevada and White Claw

Customers stick with a single brand for four of the top ten pairings, indicating that shoppers will often pick up more than one variety from the same producer — or that they like to stock up on one particular product. Pairings also show that IPA buyers often explore other top IPA brands. 

Drizly’s Top Light Lager Pairings, Year-to-Date

  1. Bud Light and White Claw
  2. Corona and White Claw
  3. Bud Light and Tito’s
  4. Bud Light and Bud Light
  5. Coors and White Claw
  6. Bud Light and Truly
  7. Corona and Tito’s
  8. Miller Brewing Co. and White Claw
  9. Corona and Bud Light
  10.  Michelob and White Claw

Drizly shoppers that add light lager to their carts first will most often include White Claw in their baskets, followed by Bud Light and Tito’s — again, indicating a preference for lighter-style beverages.