As restaurants, bars, entertainment venues and the like reopen amid an emerging new normal, what does that mean for how consumers shop for and consume alcohol beverages? Alcohol e-commerce marketplace Drizly examined just this in its third annual Consumer Report, which found that online sales and delivery of alcohol—which soared during the pandemic as consumers stayed home and avoided stores—is posed for long-term growth. Click through to read more about this trend, as well as other findings from Drizly’s report on hot category topics such as hard seltzers, conscious consumption and more.
Ordering alcohol online for delivery or pickup has become an engrained habit among most consumers, with 53% of the 1,000 drinking-age Americans surveyed for Dizly’s report saying they anticipate more of their alcohol purchases will be made online in the next year compared to during the pandemic. Another 33% expect to order online about the same as during the pandemic, while only 14% plan to order less.
In the past year, a majority of consumers (72%) made their online alcohol purchases from food/grocery stores or online marketplaces such as Instacart, DoorDash and Drizly. This is significantly higher than the 39% of consumers who purchased from a local liquor store website or via phone, 30% who bought from online alcohol retailers such as Wine.com, 20% who bought direct from a producer and 19% who received orders from a wine subscription service.
This summer and fall, Americans indicate they will continue to drink alcohol primarily off-premise, with 69% planning to drink most regularly at-home or at the homes of friends and family. Meanwhile, 16% plant to drink most regularly at restaurants/bars and 14% expect to drink most regularly at outdoor locations such as parks and beaches.
Hard Time for Hard Seltzer?
While hard seltzer—the breakout drink of 2019 and 2020, according to Drizly—is still growing, the report finds that ready-to-drink cocktails and other new canned drinks are taking away some of its some growth momentum. Ready-to-drinks’ share is growing at 15 times the rate as hard seltzer on Drizly. Meanwhile, the e-commerce platform’s report finds that hard seltzers are not what of-age drinkers plan to reach for first this summer. Traditional beer, wine and spirits led the way with consumers, followed by ready-to-drink cocktails, which placed ahead of hard seltzer at 30% and 29%, respectively.
Consumers are increasingly beginning to care more about how products are made and by whom across all grocery categories. Alcohol is no different; however, it is most important to Generation Z. The 2021 Drizly Consumer Report found that nearly one-third of 21- to 24-year-olds surveyed cited minority-ownership as an important brand choice consideration, followed by millennials at 18%, Gen X at 14% and baby boomers at 11%. Sustainable business practices are also a driving force for Gen Z, with 40% saying that they factor environmental track record into alcohol brand selection, followed by Gen X (33%), millennials (32%) and baby boomers (20%).