Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australian shores, new product development became increasingly important in RTDs as this category had a reputation for unhealthy products. Subsequently, the category leaders aimed to align their brands with the current trends that favour products offering convenience as well as health and wellness attributes.
It is essential for RTDs to embrace innovation as consumers are increasingly looking for breath taking, experiential, and sophisticated looking drinks. While recent years have seen a distinct and marked shift towards premiumisation in most categories of alcoholic drinks in Australia, until very recently RTDs stubbornly resisted the shift towards more expensive products with a more upmarket image.
The biggest news in terms of new product development in RTDs towards the end of the review period was the emergence of hard seltzers. Compared with most RTDs, these products are more in line with the prevailing industry trends as they truly tick all boxes by being low in sugar as well as low in carbohydrates.
RTDs is expected to see healthy volume sales growth during most of the forecast period, except for 2021 which is likely to see a decline in demand. However, the general image of most brands of RTDs is not aligned with important industry trends such as the increasing interest in products that are low in sugar, low ABV, lighter on the palate and with a more natural, less processed image.
Many new brands have entered the RTDs category during the end of the review period as well as traditional RTDs introducing new packaging and upgrading their appearance. New aluminium packaging in RTDs represents an opportunity for many brands.
RTDs is the category with the most potential for innovative launches in the short and medium term. Trends to watch in the forecast period include gluten free RTDs and the expansion of packaging options other than cans and tetra pack.
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This report originates from Passport, our RTDs research and analysis database.
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