Tequila takeover and a craft beer comeback: US drink trends for 2022

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Tequila Craft beer Us

Retailers expect to see higher sales this holiday season with their optimism continuing for the year ahead, according to Drizly.

The company – North America’s largest e-commerce alcohol market place which was acquired by Uber​ earlier this year - has just released its third annual BevAlc Insights by Drizly Retail Report.

The insights are based on a nationwide survey of more than 500 alcohol retailers last month. “We know alcohol retailers have a strong pulse on consumer behavior and demand as they see trends and shifts first-hand in their stores day in, day out," ​said Cathy Lewenberg, Chief Operating Officer at Drizly. 

"Combining their real-time observations with these data-driven insights - the perfect mix of art and science - helped form our annual retail report with a deep understanding of what's to come in 2022."

Could 2022 be the year tequila outsells vodka?

Nearly 80% of retailers plan to carry more tequila next year, on par with bourbon, and 40 points ahead of vodka. It mirrors sales trends on Drizly, where over the past few years tequila's share of spirits sales has grown by 13%, while vodka's share has declined by 2%.

“If tequila’s trajectory continues, sales of the Mexican mainstay may surpass vodka at some point next year on the platform, driven by the growing influence of millennial and older Gen Z consumers,”​ says Drizly.

Craft beer may reclaim shelf space from hard seltzer

Hard seltzer has stolen the headlines over the last few years, but indications from retailers are that the fascination with this category may level out as consumers return to other drinks.

Even though half of retailers surveyed see themselves carrying more hard seltzer next year, 57% said they expect to devote more shelf space to craft beer.

On the flipside, 23% of retailers plan to stock less​ hard seltzer in 2022, in contrast to the only 8% who plan to do the same with craft beer.

RTD cocktails are another potential challenger to hard seltzers: retailers in the survey said they plan to devote the most incremental shelf space to ready-to-drink cocktails next year (60%).

People want to feel good about what they're drinking

Asked about special attributes that matter most, 66% of retailers surveyed said that they seek to stock locally made products, followed closely by organic and natural products (60%).

Products for health-conscious shoppers ranked close behind (57%). This is supported by the fact that 90% of retailers on Drizly now stock non-alcoholic beer, wine and similar alternatives, and share of such products on Drizly are up 120% since 2020.

Cannabis and CBD-infused drinks

Many retailers believe that cannabis- and CBD-infused beverages have the industry's biggest growth potential, despite the fact that their status legally remains varied throughout the country.

“Retailers are overwhelmingly optimistic about CBD- and cannabis-infused products, with over 50% of those surveyed saying that they have the industry’s highest growth potential. Among factors influencing these attitudes may be the growing ranks of states that are legalizing recreational cannabis," ​notes Drizly.

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