Cinco de Mayo is typically a big day for alcohol retailers, and this year was no different. By looking at the winners in terms of sales share, can help gauge what sells well on this day – as well as trends that suggest what sales may look like the rest of the year.

“Many of the trends this Cinco de Mayo are in line with what we have seen over the past year, including the rise of categories like ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails, tequila, and Mexican imported beer,” says Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights.

Cinco de Mayo fell on a Thursday in 2022, and compared to the previous four Thursdays, sales on Drizly on May 5th, 2022 were 13 percent higher.

Liquor held the biggest share of sales on Drizly on Cinco de Mayo 2022 at 51 percent share – one percentage point lower than Cinco de Mayo 2021, but six percentage points higher than the liquor category’s share of sales year-to-date. Wine followed with 31 percent share (the same as 2021), while beer held 15 percent share (up from 14 percent share in 2021 as well as a 14 percent share year-to-date) and extras held three percent share (up from two percent share in 2021). 

Tequila, as to be expected, won big on Cinco de Mayo. The category went from 18 percent share of liquor sales on Drizly year-to-date to 35 percent share on Cinco de Mayo. Ready-to-drink cocktails also saw a notable spike to eight percent share of sales in the liquor category compared to four percent share of sales year-to-date. Last Cinco de Mayo, RTDs held just a six percent share.

Drizly’s Best-Selling Liquor Subcategories, Cinco de Mayo 2022

  • Tequila: 35 percent
  • Whiskey: 26 percent
  • Vodka: 17 percent
  • Ready-to-Drink Cocktails: Eight percent
  • Liqueurs, Cordials, and Schnapps: Six percent
  • Gin: Three percent
  • Rum: Two percent
  • Brandy: Two percent
  • Mezcal: Two percent

Consumers Traded up for Tequila on Cinco de Mayo

As they have been all year, consumers were reaching for more premium bottles of tequila on Cinco de Mayo this year. The average unit price of tequila sold on Cinco De Mayo was up 12.5 percent year-over-year, reaching $47.50.

Among tequila SKUs, two reposados were clear winners this year: Clase Azul Reposado and Casamigos Resposado, which both gained ranks year-over-year in Drizly’s list of top-selling tequilas. Teremana Blanco also rose in the top 10.

“The growth in reposado, which has seen share growth year-over-year, is reflected in this year’s sales with Clase Azul and Casamigos (whose blanco SKU is the number one seller) having moved up the list,” says Paquette. “Additionally, Teremana, which is owned by The Rock, saw gains.”

Drizly’s Top-Selling Tequila SKUs, Cinco de Mayo 2022 vs. 2021

  1. Casamigos Blanco vs. Casamigos Blanco
  2. Espolòn Tequila Blanco vs. Espolòn Tequila Blanco 
  3. Clase Azul Reposado Tequila vs. Patrón Silver Tequila
  4. Patrón Silver Tequila vs. Clase Azul Reposado Tequila 
  5. Casamigos Reposado vs. Don Julio Blanco
  6. Don Julio 1942 vs. Don Julio 1942
  7. Don Julio Blanco vs. Casamigos Reposado
  8. Jose Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila vs. Jose Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila
  9. Teremana Blanco Tequila vs. 1800 Silver Tequila
  10. 1800 Silver Tequila vs. Teremana Blanco Tequila

The Growth of RTDs

In the other big liquor subcategory winner, ready-to-drink cocktails, High Noon saw a number of its SKUs make it into the top 10 sellers—including three that rose in ranking. 1800 Ultimate Margarita, On The Rocks Hornitos Margarita Cocktail, and Cutwater Mango Margarita also saw their positions rise among the top selling Cinco de Mayo RTDs.

“We are seeing consumers turning to RTDs more and more for occasions like Cinco de Mayo, suggesting RTDs are becoming a staple,” Paquette says. “We expect this to continue, especially this summer as buyers seek drinks they can enjoy outdoors and on-the-go.”

Drizly’s Top-Selling RTD Cocktail SKUs, Cinco de Mayo 2022 vs. 2021

  1. High Noon Hard Seltzer Variety Pack vs. Cutwater Tequila Lime Margarita
  2. Cutwater Tequila Lime Margarita vs. Skinnygirl Margarita
  3. 1800 Ultimate Margarita vs. High Noon Hard Seltzer Variety Pack
  4. On The Rocks Hornitos Margarita Cocktail vs. 1800 Ultimate Margarita
  5. High Noon Tropical Variety Pack vs. Jose Cuervo Authentic Lime Margarita
  6. Jose Cuervo Authentic Lime Margarita vs. On The Rocks Hornitos Margarita Cocktail
  7. Cutwater Mango Margarita vs. On The Rocks Jalapeno Pineapple Margarita Cocktail 
  8. Skinnygirl Margarita vs. Jose Cuervo Golden Margarita
  9. High Noon Limited Edition Pool Pack Hard Seltzer vs. Cutwater Mango Margarita
  10. On The Rocks Jalapeno Pineapple Margarita Cocktail vs. High Noon Peach Hard Seltzer

Beer Sales Trend Toward Pilsners, Lagers, and Hard Seltzers

Beer made up a smaller, but notable, share of sales on Drizly on Cinco de Mayo 2022. Of the beer subcategories, hard seltzer was once again at the top with 20 percent share of the beer category (compared to 19 percent share in 2021). However, pilsners were a big winner on the holiday, moving from six percent share year-to-date to 11 percent share on Cinco de Mayo (compared to a nine percent share the same date in 2021). Light lagers (13 percent), American-style lagers (12 percent), and IPAs (eight percent) were also popular on Cinco de Mayo.

The top five selling pilsners remained the same from Cinco de Mayo 2021 to 2022. Corona Extra Mexican Beer led the pack, followed by Pacifico Clara Mexican Lager Beer, Pilsner Urquell Beer, Sixpoint The Crisp, and Beck’s. In the American-style lager subcategory, Tecate saw movement in the top five Cinco de Mayo sellers from 2021 to 2022. Leading SKUs were Modelo Especial Mexican Lager Beer, Budweiser, Dos Equis Lager, Tecate, and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Sales of Mixers and Extras

Outside of alcohol in the extras category, ice was the biggest winner on Drizly on Cinco de Mayo 2022 compared to the previous year. Ice gained three percentage points over share on the occasion in 2021, accounting for eight percent of share of extras sales this year. The top five extras subcategories on Cinco de Mayo 2022 were Margarita mix, ice, cola, sparkling water/seltzer, and tonic water.

It should come as no surprise that Margarita mix held the highest share of the extras category at 25 percent. However, the top-selling margarita mix SKUs saw significant changes year-over-year, with Powell & Mahoney Margarita, Jose Cuervo Classic Lime Light Margarita Mix, and Ripe Agave Margarita Bar Juice all experiencing position increases.