Beer is Top Alcohol Choice; Hard Seltzer and Spirits Jump in Popularity vs Year Ago

CHICAGO, May 22, 2023 (GlobeNewswire) – Numerator, a data and tech company serving the market research space, has released new data on Memorial Day 2023, sourced from verified purchase data and a sentiment survey of over 2,600 consumers on their 2023 holiday intentions. Overall, three-quarters of US consumers plan to celebrate Memorial Day, with all celebration plans seeing increases vs Memorial Day 2022 and 92% of celebrators planning to make purchases.

Consumer Sentiment Findings Include:

  • The majority of Americans plan to celebrate Memorial Day. The top celebration plans include grilling/barbecuing (59% of celebrators), followed by attending or hosting a party (43%), and cooking/baking (23%).
  • More people intend to be out and about for Memorial Day 2023. Compared to Memorial Day 2022, all celebration plans saw an increase in 2023, including recreational activities (+10 percentage points), attending or hosting parties (+9 points), attending  public celebrations (+8 points) and watching fireworks (+6 points).
  • Nearly everyone plans to make Memorial Day purchases. Food tops the shopping list (83% plan to purchase), followed by alcoholic beverages (46%), non-alcoholic beverages (35%), party supplies (16%) and decorations (11%).
  • Beer is the top alcohol choice, but spirits and hard seltzers see a jump in popularity. Among those planning to buy alcohol, the top choice is beer (70%), followed by wine (43%), hard seltzers (30%) and spirits (30%). Compared to 2022, more consumers say they are planning to purchase spirits (+10 percentage points) and hard seltzers (+2 points) this year.
  • More than three-quarters of consumers expect rising prices to impact their Memorial Day spending. 34% say they expect a slight impact from inflation, 26% expect a moderate impact and 16% expect a significant impact.
  • 8 in 10 consumers (82%) will try to save money this Memorial Day. More than half (54%) of celebrators say they will buy items on sale, 28% will use more coupons, 28% will prepare budget-friendly foods, 20% will switch to store / private label brands, 17% will shop at dollar stores, 12% will reduce their travel, and 11% will buy smaller items.

Consumer Purchase Data Findings Include:

  • Beer typically sees a boost in the week leading up to Memorial Day. In the week leading up to Memorial Day 2022, beer saw an 11% unit increase (vs the week prior), and almost one-third of US households (31%) purchased beer in that timeframe.
  • As the warmer weather arrives, consumers are likely to opt for lighter beers and IPAs. In the week leading up to the 2022 holiday, light beers, IPAs and seasonal favorites were top picks, including Lagunitas IPA (+133% units vs the week prior), Bud Light Next (+122%), Blue Moon Light Sky (+84%), Corona Premier (+76%), Dos Equis (+76%), and Leinenkugel’s (+72%).
  • When purchasing hot dogs, Memorial Day baskets mimic a classic picnic menu. Shoppers purchasing hot dogs in the week leading up to Memorial Day 2022 were 6x more likely to purchase beef burgers and patties and prepared beans on the same trip, and they were 4x more likely to purchase classic dips, mac & cheese (shelf-stable) and dill pickles.
  • Outdoor summer products start appearing in shopping baskets in the weeks leading up to Memorial Day. In the four weeks leading up to Memorial Day, unit sales spike for summer categories, such as pools & chemicals (+132%), pool tools & accessories (+121%), sunscreen (+109%), pool floats & pool noodles (+81%), and grills (+54%).

Numerator’s Q2 2023 Holiday Preview survey was fielded to 2,650 consumers in April 2023 and highlights consumers’ celebration, shopping and spending plans for Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, and Independence Day. Purchasing insights were compiled using Numerator’s 150k household Total Commerce Panel, looking at data in the week leading up to Memorial Day 2022 versus the prior week period for beer and meat sales and data from 05/02/2022 to 05/30/2022 versus the prior four-week period for outdoor and recreation.

About Numerator:

Numerator is a data and tech company bringing speed and scale to market research.  Numerator blends first-party data from over 1 million US households with advanced technology to provide 360-degree consumer understanding for the market research industry that has been slow to change. Headquartered in Chicago, IL, Numerator has 2,000 employees worldwide; 80 of the top 100 CPG brands’ manufacturers are Numerator clients.


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