Drizly's Annual Consumer Trend Report Has Insights for the On-Premise

Drizly, an Uber Company, has released its fifth annual Consumer Trend Report. Drizly's report reveals what Americans are expected to drink this summer and beyond, forecasts key trends in what adult beverage consumers are looking for, and highlights the impact of inflation.

The report was derived from a nationwide survey of over 1,000 adults of legal drinking age during April 2023 and supplemented by insights generated by relevant sales data on Drizly.

"This year's report found adult beverage consumers adapting to a post-pandemic world, while experiencing the impacts of inflation," said Liz Paquette, Drizly's Head of Consumer Insights, in a press release. "Overall, this survey, along with purchase patterns on Drizly, found that consumer preferences are changing when it comes to beer, wine, and spirits—more Americans, especially Gen Z and millennials, are gravitating towards zero-proof options, ready-to-drink cocktails are expanding beyond summertime, and red wine is becoming increasingly popular for the warmer months."

Let's dig into what the report found!

Red Wine Grows in Popularity, Interest in RTDs Declines

Whereas pink and white wines are typically the choice for summer, Drizly's report found that those surveyed will reach for red wine (31%) as their go-to summer wine in 2023 over lighter options like white wine (28%) and rosé (17%). This is an 8 percentage point increase in red wine from 2022, potentially signaling a shift in how consumers view it. According to Drizly Internal Data 2020-2022, lighter body red varieties, like Lambrusco and Gamay, have been rising in the ranks and experiencing share increases.

Another surprise from the report was that survey takers voiced a lower interest in ready-to-drink cocktails (22%) as their summertime drink, marking a 17 percentage point decrease from summer 2022. Similarly, only 21% chose hard seltzers and 14% hard alternatives (i.e., hard lemonade) as their drink of the summer. This decline may point to a potential shift in consumer perception of RTDs as a year-round staple versus a summertime-only beverage.

So what are consumers reaching for? Turns out it's light liquor (34%), red wine (31), white wine (28%), and light lager beer (23%). Consider adjusting your seasonal summer menus to align with this shift in consumer demand.

Non-Alc Beverages Are Here to Stay

According to Drizly's report, Americans are saying no alcohol, no problem. The desire to try non-alcoholic (NA) beverages continues to climb with half of the survey respondents having tried NA beer, wine, or spirits.

The NA category is sparking the most interest amongst Gen Z (23%) and millennials (24%), who have tried these drinks more frequently than other generations, as well as men (14%), who reported drinking NA beer, wine, or spirits more often than women (9%).

The reasons consumers are choosing non-alc products varies:

  • 50% tried non-alc products to see if they liked them
  • 31% choose non-alc when they are drinking less for a healthier lifestyle
  • 35% choose non-alc when they can't drink alcohol for a specific reason
  • Nearly half (45%) say they’re extremely likely or likely to take part in a month-long “dry” challenge, like Dry January or Sober October

As for preferred non-alc products, NA beer ranks at the top with 30% of respondents preferring it. This is followed by NA RTDs (20%), NA wine (17%), and NA spirits (10%). Interest was divided by demographics, as NA wine topped the list for Gen Z (21%) and millennials (22%) as the type of NA drink they were most curious about, while NA RTDs were the top pick for Gen X (15%) and boomers (17%).

The popularity of NA beer may result from a more mature and developed category with more options, better tastes, and greater availability. It's still anyone's race to create an NA wine that tastes good and compares to alcoholic wines, and there is sure to be much innovation in this space in the coming months.

The Impact of Inflation on Dining Out

One of the more concerning aspects of Drizly's report is the shift in consumers choosing to drink at home versus at bars/restaurants. 

Yelp Consumer Report 2022 - Inflation - Buying Habits
(Photo by: Prostock Studio / BigStock.com)

Nearly one-in-four respondents (22%) said they will opt to drink at home more often in 2023 than at bars and restaurants, and one-in-five will be "self-bartending" more in 2023 compared to 2022.

In terms of demographics, millennials plan to skip bars/restaurants the most this year, with 33% planning to drink more at home. Premiumization still rules the day as survey respondents said they are purchasing more premium wines (36%), dark liquors (27%), and light liquors (26%).

The main culprit for this shift in spend is inflation, as respondents say they are spending less at bars/restaurants and spending more on beverages to drink at home (26%). 

So, how can the on-premise combat this shift? Offering a personalized, unique guest experience the consumer can't get at home is a good place to start. Whether it's captivating cocktails that are not easily recreated by "self-bartending" at home; live entertainment like bands, drag shows, open mics, or weekly trivia; or an immersive ambiance that recreates a specific time or place through design, finding a way to make your venue a must-visit destination is key.  

To see all of the insights, view Drizly's full Consumer Trend Report


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