Impacted since October 2019 by the social unrest, which left 33% of Chilean supermarkets looted or destroyed, according to the Chilean Supermarkets Association, sales of Chilean RTDs decreased in 2020. They were also adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought maximum customer number limits for supermarkets, the fear of contagion in indoor facilities, and a financial crisis that saw consumers trading down in terms of categories, searching for cheaper products and a better price per litre.
If, prior to the pandemic consumers could go to nightclubs, bars and restaurants and ask for their favourite cocktail, with the closure of the on-trade channel for a number of months with the restrictions implemented during the pandemic, in RTDs consumers saw an alternative to their mixology needs. With many SKUs packaged in small formats, RTDs are perceived to be more hygienic, and have the correct dosage for single usage, instead of having to open a whole bottle of sparkling wine to mix with Aperol, for example, which can result in waste when used for a single individual’s consumption.
The rise of e-commerce during the pandemic, helped by the long lines, limited customer numbers and fear of infection at supermarkets, impacted positively on RTDs in Chile. Producers that did not already have established online operations started to partner with established marketplaces.
With the staggered reopening that started in September 2020, with the relaxation of restrictive measures and allowing of local services in bars and restaurants, albeit with visitor number limits and sanitary measures still in place, it is expected that RTDs will rebound in 2021, also helped by the mass vaccination campaigns that are taking place, with hopes for the full reopening of the on-trade channel and fewer restrictions for the off-trade channel further down the line.
Another global trend being adopted by Chilean consumer is hard seltzers, which began to become available in the off-trade channel in 2020, pushed by major players with high marketing investments. With high growth rates achieved in the US market, it is expected that this category will leverage the reopening of the economy, gradual removal of movement restrictions and the return of out-of-home consumption occasions, as it offers a hygienic format for single use, allowing for better alcoholic intake control.
Already present in major Chilean supermarkets, albeit without much shelf space, sangria, a wine-based RTD, also started to be sold in the can format. While this packaging also allows the category to leverage the reopening of society, including outdoor and on-the-go consumption occasions, with its hygienic and single-use format, it is not expected to change much in terms of wine-based RTDs’ category dynamics, as the popular and traditional brand Manquehito still leads it.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the RTDs industry in Chile with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our RTDs research and analysis database.
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