The performance of RTDs during 2020 was strongly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The largest category, spirit-based RTDs, experienced the most marked decline, largely because of its exposure to the on-trade channel which was severely impacted by measures introduced to limit the spread of COVID-19.
During 2020, RTDs did not see the emergence of effective novel strategies to adapt to the pandemic, and no significant changes were observed in distribution channels. Modern grocery retailing channels remained the most relevant, and despite these channels seeing an increase in overall grocery sales during the pandemic, consumers prioritised food and basic household products, with RTDs not on the list.
Diageo Colombia SA with Smirnoff Ice remained dominant in the RTDs category in 2020. In 2019, the company withdrew Smirnoff Ice Guarana as it focused on different products, such as Smirnoff X1 Lulo, a vodka-based liqueur with 24% abv to be consumed in shots, which is classified in other liqueurs.
Smirnoff Ice is the leading brand in RTDs, competing in an atomised category in which products like pina colada, sabajón and sangria are popular, but showing little innovation and limited growth potential. During the forecast period, the RTDs category is expected to see the arrival of hard seltzers, led by Coca-Cola with Topo Chico.
The outlook is not promising for wine-based RTDs despite the fact that young adults of legal drinking age are adopting healthier lifestyles, which includes a preference for beverages with a low alcohol content. The category is facing strong competition for the attention of this consumer group from wine, which is growing rapidly, driven by low-priced imported products available at modern grocery retailers.
The on-trade channel has been severely impacted by COVID-19, with closures during the period of confinement from March to August 2020 and restrictive measures in the reopening phase, which included limited capacities and only allowing the sale of alcoholic drinks if accompanied by a meal. During this period, many consumers shifted towards beer instead of spirit-based RTDs.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the RTDs industry in Colombia 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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