This data is sourced from VinePair Audience Insights, which offers revolutionary real-time visibility into alcohol trends. Our indexes track the popularity of the 65 most important types of wine, beer, and spirits in the U.S. marketplace. Built upon the largest, proprietary collection of real-time first-party data about consumer alcohol preferences, VinePair Audience Insights empowers you to make smarter, faster marketing, purchase, and investment decisions. All data in this report is based on our inCategory Interest SubScores*.
The biggest story in July’s data was the expected “leveling off” of YoY growth in Hard Seltzer (#1 in beer). What we are seeing has been confirmed by recent retail scan data — that Hard Seltzer is still growing quickly YoY. But the rate is well off of recent highs, and will work off of much higher comps going forward. Interest in Hard Seltzer finished the month up “only” 42 percent YoY (vs. 544 percent YoY in June).
If you follow scan data, you’ve likely seen Hard Seltzer slow to low-triple-digit YoY growth rates recently. While the trends align directionally, our YoY changes were higher earlier in the year and now lower, due to two key factors: 1) Our Interest scores are leading indicators, while sales are lagging indicators, and 2) Purchase intent was often unfulfilled as last summer wore on due to inventory constraints.
With Hard Seltzer’s growth in interest leveling off, we’re finally seeing the other beers of summer assert themselves. Interest in Macro Lager (#2) is up +15 percent YoY and Mexican Lager (#3) is up 20 percent. Both notched the best July scores in our series (going back to 2018 for the beer category).
On the spirits side, like last month, we saw low volatility for core types. Looking at YoY data, we saw the #1 spirit, Tequila, up 7 percent. We also saw #2 Bourbon, #3 Vodka, #4 Gin, and #5 Whiskey all posting small losses. On the other hand, #6 Rum posted an almost double-digit gain — following up once again on the recent strength we’ve seen for the brown spirit.
Finally, we turn to the wine side of things, where we also saw a July that looked a lot like June. Rosé once again held on to the top spot but did so on (once again) its slowest July in our four years of tracking the wine and spirits categories. The #2 Champagne posted an even smaller YoY decline than last month (-1 percent vs -3 percent). While it would seem like Champagne’s decline has by now hit bottom, the economic uncertainty over the expiration of enhanced unemployment insurance benefits, PPP money coming to an end for many businesses, and the continued spread of Covid-19 make forecasting for such a celebration-linked beverage extremely tricky.
Last month we reported that a handful of key wines posted best-ever June scores. For reference, those were Prosecco, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir. While Prosecco (#3) saw a slight dip in July (though on a very difficult comp for July 2019 vs. other recent years), Cabernet (#4), Chardonnay (#5), Sauvignon Blanc (#6), and Pinot Noir (#8) surged to new July records. Pinot Grigio (#7) dipped a bit YoY but is up quite a bit over 2017 and 2018. Looking at lower-interest varieties, Riesling and Red Blends set July records. Bordeaux and Burgundy are still showing the same tough picture we have been reporting for months.
* inCategory Interest SubScores measure relative audience interest for a given type of wine, beer, or spirit against its peers within its category. Click to learn more about VinePair Audience Insights.