A recent Nielsen survey conducted by The Harris Poll sheds light on which alcoholic beverages Americans are reaching for this summer. Here are some of the highlights.

Americans are drinking outside this summer

A full 90% of regular drinkers say they’ll be drinking outdoors during the summer months. The most popular venues are:

  • Barbecues
  • Picnics
  • Swimming pools
  • Beaches
  • Patio bars
  • Sporting events

Compared to their older counterparts, younger consumers are more likely to drink at barbecues, pools, beaches, sporting events, and beer festivals, among other venues.

Bring on the beer, but don’t forget the hard cider and rose

All drinkers want “refreshing” summer beverages. Other desired qualities differ by gender. Men respond more strongly to traits like “natural” and “handcrafted,” while women prefer attributes like “fruity,” “sweet,” “citrusy,” “frozen,” and “bubbly.”

Beer is the most popular summer drink, followed by spirits and cocktails. Compared to other times of year, Americans’ summertime drink choices include more:

  • Flavored malt beverages
  • Bottled craft beer
  • Hard cider
  • Hard soda
  • Hard seltzer
  • Rose wine

Make mine a cold — and portable — one

It’s no surprise that consumers are looking for portable, cold beverages during the hot months. For packaging options, respondents want:

  • Easy-to-carry packaging (73%)
  • Buying their beverages cold (66%)
  • Environmentally-friendly packaging (53%)
  • Single-serve packaging (49%)

Millennials place even more importance on all of these factors.

Cans are trending

While always popular for traditional beer, cans are becoming more common for other alcoholic drinks as well.

  • In the last year, sales of canned craft beer grew by more than 50%, representing more than 14% of the craft beer market.
  • Canned wine is growing in popularity, too.
    • Still less than 1% of the overall wine market, canned wine sales boomed by 125% in the past year.
    • This follows similar positive trends in boxed and carton wine.