Canned Cocktails Lose Appeal for Summer, But Red Wine Is a Go-To Drink

Consumers appear to be turning from ready-to-drink products, which saw a whopping 17 point drop at the top drink from summer 2022 when Drizly surveyed consumers.  

In its annual summer forecast, Drizly speculated the decline in RtDs as a summer drink may be because consumers are starting to see RtDs as a year-round staple, and not just something for warm weather.

The survey also found that 21% of those surveyed plan to reach for hard seltzer this summer and 14% for hard alternatives (i.e. hard lemonade, hard iced tea) -- both experiencing decreases year-over-year with 4 and 2 percentage point drops, respectively.

Consumers are embracing the classics as they show
heightened interest in tried-and-true drinks for summer 2023: light liquor (34%), white wine (28%), and light lager beer (23%), all enjoying a 2 percentage point increase in popularity year-over-year.

Thirty-one percent (31%) of those surveyed by Drizly said red wine will be their go-to summer drink this year.  That's an 8 percentage point jump, outpacing white wine (28%) and rose (17%).  

In what will be unwelcome news for on-premise operators, especially those at shore destinations, Drizly's survey also found that as bar tabs inflate, Americans are both drinking less and opting to sip on premium drinks at home; 22% say they'll drink from home more often this summer vs. 2022.  That's especially true for women.  Nearly 60% of female respondents say inflation has affected how often they go out to bars and restaurants.

The survey also found that 45% of survey takers said they will drink more expensive or premium beer, wine or spirits at home vs. on-premise (34%) this year.

It also appears giving bev/al as a gift is returning major holidays. That's what 68% of consumers, up from 56% last year, told Drizly. But gifting for "everyday moments" which was so common during the pandemic, dropped 3 percentage points.  

Non-Alcohol Products Gain Favor

When it comes to the no alcohol movement, 23% of Gen Z and 24% of millennial respondents say they drink non-alcoholic beer, wine or spirits often, while only 6% of Gen X and 1% of Boomers said the same.  Non-alcoholic categories on Drizly grew 29% from 2021.

Some 50% of suvey takers have tried NA beer, wine or spirits to see if they like it, and 46% said they are likely to take part in a month-long "dry" challenge like Dry January or Sober October.

Surprisingly, NA beer, wine or spirits are bigger among men (14%) than women (9%).

Influencers Not Influencing

Given all the heat Anheuser-Busch and its parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev have taken over the Dylen  XXXX influencer episode, the Drizly survey found that when it comes to beer, wine, and spirits, respondents say influencers, social media ads, and celebrities don’t hold much sway.

Gen Z shops with their eyes first, with cool packaging holding the most influence, followed by sustainability and transparency. Millennials consume with their hearts on their sleeves by shopping brands that support their values and are local, small, or family owned.

Who and what does influence purchase decisions?  Recommendations from friends and family (57%) or bartenders (25%).  Pricing is important for 37% of consumers, Drizly found. As for social media ads, only  14% say they make a difference, only 8% are swayed by influencers and celebrity endorsements lead to purchase decisions by only 6% of respondents.

That indifference to influencers and celebrities appears to be true even for younger generations, Drizly found.  Only 17% of Gen Z and 13% of millennial respondents said influencers were a reason to try new bev/al brands.

SOURCE: Drizly 2023 Consumer Trend Report, Drizly,  334 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116.