Unlike in other alcoholic drink areas, the improving economy and increased consumer confidence did not have a significant impact within RTDs/high-strength premixes in 2017, with sales continuing to decline. This can mainly be attributed to the fact that it is easy to substitute products in this area with cheaper self-made mixers whether at home, off-trade or in on-trade establishments.
Malt-based RTDs continued to nearly totally dominate sales in 2017, with products in this area typically being drunk on-trade. However, off-trade consumption is growing, in line with the at-home entertainment trend.
In response to struggling sales, some distributers decided to withdraw their RTD brands in 2017 (eg Smirnoff Ice, Double black Guarrana and Captain Cola from PPD Distribucija). Coupled with increasing consumer health consciousness, this had a negative impact on sales and could result in a further decline in demand.
Pivovarna Laško Union continued to dominate sales in 2017 due to the popularity of its highly successful Laško Malt brand within malt-based RTDs. The brand is supported by continuous marketing and wide availability within both on and off trade channels, with the recent Heineken takeover and consolidation of operations expected to result in further expansion.
Bacardi ranked second in 2017, but came far behind the leading player, posting only a marginal sales share, with the remainder of sales being highly fragmented. The company led spirit-based RTDs sales in 2017 with its Bacardi Breezer brand, which is distributed by Merit HP.
Private label RTDs/high-strength premixes are mainly represented by the discounter Lidl and have been steadily developing as the company grows its network of outlets and attracts price conscious consumers. The fact that the discounter will continue to expand over the forecast period will help to further boost sales of its private label lines.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Alcoholic Drinks market research database.