Whiskey dominated alcohol delivery company Drizly’s new products list in 2022’s fourth quarter, bucking a trend that usually sees gift sets, red wines and seasonal beers get most of the attention.
Whiskey nabbed 14 of the top 20 spots.
“The top trend that emerged was the data that whiskey was the clear winner of new releases this quarter, making up many of the best-selling new products,” says Liz Paquette, Boston-based Drizly’s head of consumer insights. “The top whiskeys spanned across categories from bourbon to Scotch, flavored and Japanese whisky.”
Though whiskey sales tend to increase during colder winter months, its overwhelming popularity among new releases this quarter could signal this traditional spirit is gaining new interest, Drizly said.
In other categories, seasonal norms such as gift sets, tequilas and ready-to-drink (RTD) products held their own. Gift sets made up 10% of the most popular new releases, including Drizly’s curated wine set A Toast to You and its On the Rocks Cocktail Bundle.
Rather than a single subcategory dominating, consumers selected specialty bottles across whiskey segments, according to Drizly.
“Retailers can leverage this data to make stocking decisions in the new year as these products represent the areas of product innovation that consumers are most inclined to try,” Paquette said. “Seasonality certainly plays a major role here; however, the popularity of new releases demonstrates strong consumer interests in trying new products within the category, particularly special- and limited-edition releases.”
Bourbon is the most popular whiskey subcategory on Drizly, accounting for 39% of 2022’s share, and it was the most popular whiskey subcategory for Q4 new releases.
Five of the top 20 new products were bourbons and all were limited-edition releases split between legacy brands and newcomers.
Among well-established bourbon brands, the Old Forester King Ranch Bourbon, Basil Hayden Red Wine Cask Finish Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series BRT-02 made the top new products list.
Among newcomers, the Kentucky Owl Takumi Limited Edition Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 2XO The Phoenix Blend Kentucky Straight Bourbon and Wyoming Ten Year Anniversary Edition Straight Bourbon Whiskey were popular with Drizly users.
- Single-malt whiskey accounted for 1% of whiskey sales on Drizly in 2022 but captured 20% of the top new products list in Q4 of 2022. “Single malt is a traditional gift during the winter months, which may have accounted for its popularity on the list,” Drizly said.
- Tequila, a fast-growing spirits category, accounted for two of the top 20 most popular new products. “Similar to whiskey, special-edition tequilas were the most popular,” Drizly said.
- Seasonality was a key driver across categories behind popular new releases this quarter. Devil’s Backbone Smash Variety Pack and the On the Rocks Cocktail Bundle were the only hard seltzer and ready-to-drink (RTD) innovations represented. While their inclusion shows there’s room for growth in these categories, Paquette said the reduction of RTD options on the list isn’t surprising but shouldn’t stop retailers from stocking these drinks.
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