Inflation drives consumers to drink at home
By Georgie Collins
May 17, 2023
To avoid rising inflation costs, 26% of US consumers are spending more money on beverages to drink at home rather than going out to bars, new data has found.
Beverage e-commerce platform Drizly has published its fifth annual Consumer Trend Report, which combines sales data derived from Drizly’s proprietary platform with results from a survey of 1,001 legal-drinking-age adults across the US.
The data found rising prices in the on-trade are driving nearly one in four consumers to at-home drinking more often in 2023 compared with 2022.
This is more so the case with Millennials, 33% of which said they planned to drink more at home than in bars this year.
Nearly 60% of female respondents said inflation has affected how often they go out to bars and restaurants, and the number of drinks they have once there, compared with 50% of men.
However, 45% of those surveyed said they were opting for more premium or expensive products at home than they would at bars and restaurants, with 27% saying they would pay a premium for dark liquor, and 26% for light liquor. However, 22% said they would proactively shop for deals.
The report found that ‘self-bartending’ is returning after a spike in popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic, with one in five respondents planning to hone their at-home bartending skills this year.
More than a quarter (28%) surveyed said they have a home bar setup, with 63% saying they restock it at least once a month.
Survey respondents said they planned to host friends and family at home this summer.
Backyard barbecues (46%) topped the list of events survey-takers plan to host at home this year, followed by casual get-togethers (44%), holiday gatherings (41%), birthday parties (39%) and dinner parties (29%).
When hosting at home, nearly half (47%) of those surveyed said they would supply the drinks, with many stocking up on RTDs (ready-to-drink) to serve, along with beer, wine and spirits.
While 50% of survey-takers said backyard barbecues were where they were most likely to drink an RTD, 49% said it would be at a party.
Meanwhile, 14% of respondents cited RTDs as their drink of choice at holiday parties, tied with beer, and following wine (35%) and spirits (21%).
These behaviours follow trends seen on Drizly, where RTDs saw year-on-year share increases in 2022 during seasons outside of spring/summer, including a 41% increase in share in October-December 2022 compared to the same time period in 2021, and a 38% increase in share in January-March 2022 versus those same months in 2021.
However, when it comes to the summer seasons, RTDs have seen a decline, according to Drizly’s data.
While 22% of respondents said RTDs will be their top drink for summer 2023, this is a 17% decrease from summer 2022.
Of those surveyed, 21% said they planned to reach for hard seltzers this summer, and 14% for hard alternatives, such as hard lemonade, hard iced tea, with both categories experiencing decreases year on year with 4% and 2% drops, respectively.
Despite inflation, Drizly said the gifting of beer, wine and spirits was expected to rise in 2023.
Almost 80% of those surveyed said they have given alcohol as a gift this year, with nearly three-quarters (72%) noting their gifting of alcohol would stay the same or increase in 2023.
Drizly’s survey also found that Gen Z (41%) and Millennials (31%) anticipate gifting drinks more often than they did in 2022.
More than half of those surveyed (56%) say they usually spend more on alcohol when it’s a gift over a non-gift, with the majority (82%) typically spending up to US$100.
The most-gifted spirit on Drizly from 19-25 December 2022 was Clase Azul reposado Tequila, followed by Don Julio 1942.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label and The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old followed, with Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon being the fifth most-popular spirit gifted on the platform.
The most common occasion for alcohol gifting was holidays (68%) followed by birthdays (64%).
Gifting alcohol for congratulatory events such as weddings (19%), engagements (14%) and work promotions (11%) was down, while ‘just because’ was cited as a reason by 22% of respondents, down by 3% on 2022 figures.
While Drizly saw increases in the share of gift orders sent during non-traditional months (months not including events such as Mother’s Day or the festive season), there have been slight decreases in 2022 and 2023 to date for those same months. This signals a return to gifting-normalcy following a spike in consumers celebrating more micro moments at the height of the pandemic.