RtD Cocktails, Light Lager Beat Hard Seltzer Over July 4

Both RTD cocktails and light lager surpassed hard seltzer over the Fourth of July weekend, marking a reversal in trends from 2019, when hard seltzer first topped light lager as Drizly’s top-selling beer category.

Within the beer category, light lager came out on top with 20% share of the beer category; hard seltzer trailed slightly with 19% share. Overall, hard seltzer held just 3.5%  of total share, while RTD cocktails held 5.5% share (up slightly from 5.4% in 2022). This also marks a continued year-over-year decline in share over this important weekend for hard seltzer: it held 5.9% of share over Fourth of July weekend 2021, 4.7% share in 2022, and 3.5% share in 2023.

In the wine category, rosé was less popular over the July 4th weekend, experiencing a 16% decrease in share year-over-year. Conversely, the non-alcoholic wine, beer, and spirits category experienced a 33% increase in share versus Fourth of July weekend 2022.

July’s Breakout Beverage Brands

Unsurprisingly, given news of its imminent shutdown, Anchor Brewing Co. experienced a spike in year-over-year sales in July. The brewery’s bestseller was its classic Anchor Steam, followed by the variety pack, Christmas Ale, California Lager, and Porter.

Tequila brand Mijenta, which launched in fall 2020, also had a breakout month in July. Its top seller was the blanco, followed closely by its reposado. Within the wine category, Domaine Jean-Paul Balland experienced strong growth, driven by the producer’s Sancerre and Sancerre Rosé.

Consumers Are Making Cocktails

“Cocktail-making appears to be spiking this summer compared to last,” says Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights. This is indicated by the year-over-year share increase for the liqueur category, which held 6% of liquor sales share in July 2023 (up one percentage point from 5% in July 2022). Aperol and St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur have both seen share growth year-over-year, likely due to the rising popularity of the Aperol Spritz and the St-Germain-based Hugo Spritz.

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