This Valentine’s Day, sales were up 12 percent nationwide over the previous four Mondays as consumers celebrated the holiday with traditional favorites like Champagne and red wine, as well as spirits categories like bourbon and tequila. 

“The majority of markets saw share gains stay consistent over the holiday,” says Liz Paquette, the head of consumer insights for Drizly. “This data counties to indicate that retailers across top markets on Drizly can expect to see sales spikes driven by holidays like Valentine’s Day.”

Wine was the most popular category on Valentine’s Day with 46 percent of share, thus outselling liquor, which has been the top-selling category year to date.

“Over the past year, we have seen a rise in Champagne sales, as consumers trade up within the wine and specifically sparkling wine category,” says Paquette of the top-selling wine subcategory this Valentine’s Day. “We have seen consumers splurging in this category, particularly around occasions and gifting, which likely drove the uptick in Champagne this Valentine’s Day. We expect this to continue for gift and holiday orders throughout 2022.”

Liquor share was down two percentage points from its 44 percent share average year-to-date but it saw gains year-over-year on Valentine’s Day, growing from 38 percent of share in 2021. Beer lost four percentage points, moving from 14 percent share on Valentine’s Day 2021 to 10 percent of share in 2022, suggesting more consumers reach for other beverages on this holiday. 

From gifting to premiumization, discover data insights from Valentine’s Day 2022, which show how classic Valentine’s Day options and new trends are coexisting in today’s marketplace.

Growth in Gift Giving 

Gift orders in particular saw a significant increase this Valentine’s Day compared to the holiday in previous years; in 2022, gift order share of Valentine’s Day sales on Drizly was 17 percent, nearly double the nine percent share on Valentine’s Day in 2021, and nearly triple six percent gift order share in 2020. Valentine’s Day gift order share also saw gains over the year-to-date average of 11 percent, indicating holidays like Valentine’s Day have the potential to drive large spikes in gift sales for well positioned retailers. 

“Both gift order value and average unit price remained relatively steady on Valentine’s Day as we have seen in overall gift orders year to date,” says Paquette. “This indicates consumers are spending the same on everyday gifting (like birthdays and promotions) as they are on holidays, yet occasions like Valentine’s Day drive increases on the overall volume of gifting.”

Premium Cabernet Sauvignons and Champagne Dominate

Within the wine category, traditional Valentine’s Day favorites topped the charts, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Champagne dominating sales. Overall, wine led both category sales and gift orders on Valentine’s Day 2022, with 20 percent share of wine sales attributed to gift orders. 

Red wines accounted for 40 percent share of wine sales, a gain of two percentage points from Valentine’s Day 2021. Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines – the top-selling variety on Drizly – also saw year-over-year gains, moving from 42 percent share of red wine in 2021 to 44 percent share this Valentine’s Day, with Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon seeing significant gains in popularity.

Despite Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne becoming top-selling wine SKU on Valentine’s Day, the sparkling wine and Champagne subcategory saw a decline overall – moving from 31 percent of share in 2021 to 28 percent of share in 2022, likely as the result of ongoing premiumization trends within the sparkling wine category. 

“Even though wine continues to premiumize, the lion’s share of volume lies in the below-premium segment,” explains Adam Rogers, the North American Research Director at IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. “Categories, such as Champagne, which have large portions of volume in higher-priced tiers, are expanding more quickly in comparison to categories with larger volumes within below-premium.” Essentially, consumers opted for quality over quantity.

Champagne specifically accounted for 65 percent of the sparkling wine category on Valentine’s Day – up from 52 percent in 2021 – while Prosecco dropped ten percentage points to 14 percent of share over Valentine’s Day 2022. La Marca Prosecco, the most popular Valentine’s Day wine SKU in 2021, likewise fell from the top spot to become the second-most popular wine SKU in 2022. 

White wine saw slight gains, moving from 22 percent of share in 2021 to 24 percent in 2022. 

Drizly’s Fastest-Growing Wine SKUs for Valentine’s Day, Year-Over-Year

  • Chloe Pinot Grigio
  • La Crema Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc
  • Pascal Jolivet Sancerre
  • The Prisoner Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Red Wine
  • Josh Cellars Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Murphy-Goode California Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Ken Wright Cellars Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
  • Myx Fusions Peach Moscato
  • Luna di Luna Pinot Grigio
  • BABE 100 Rosé With Bubbles

Whiskey and Tequila Continue to Trend

Valentine’s Day trends mirrored ongoing purchasing patterns within the liquor category at large, with bourbon and tequila seeing gains while vodka sales declined on the holiday. 

Whiskey remained the top-selling liquor category on Valentine’s Day, yet saw strong gains over the holiday’s 2021 averages: In 2022, bourbon accounted for 42 percent of liquor share, up from 36 percent in 2021. Both Maker’s Mark Bourbon and Fireball Cinnamon Whisky saw significant leaps in sales at the product level, while bourbon, Scotch, and Japanese whiskey all saw category gains over the Valentine’s Day holiday.

Tequila, another category on the rise since 2020, saw similar gains this Valentine’s Day, rising from 15 percent of share in 2021 to 16 percent in 2022.

Vodka and liqueurs, cordials, and schnapps saw declines this Valentine’s Day, though Tito’s Handmade Vodka remained the top seller at the product level in both 2021 and 2022. Sales of liqueurs, cordials, and schnapps declined to just five percent of share – down from seven percent in 2021. 

“The data suggests that consumers may be making fewer cocktails at home to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year versus previous years,” says Paquette. “Likely the result of fewer on-premise restrictions than last year and the rise of ready-to-drink cocktails.” 

Drizly’s Fastest-Growing Liquor SKUs for Valentine’s Day, Year-Over-Year

  • Howler Head Banana Infused Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Fireball Cinnamon Whisky Anti-Valentine’s Day Pack
  • CÎROC VS Brandy
  • High West Old Fashioned Barrel Finished Ready Made Cocktail Whiskey
  • Cutwater Mango Margarita
  • BuzzBallz Strawberry Rita
  • Lunazul Blanco Tequila
  • Aberfeldy 12 Year Scotch Whisky
  • Western Son Original Vodka
  • Tuaca