Broadly speaking, demand for RTDs category was in decline over the majority of the review period, with a broadly negative trend seeing a slight reversal in 2019, immediately prior to the pandemic as a result of product development. COVID-19 has accelerated underlying trends.
Prior to the pandemic, the on-trade was the main channel for sales of RTDs in Croatia. Like other alcoholic drinks, the category has seen a massive decline in sales as a result of restrictions on the on-trade over the year, and the inability of the channel to rebuild footfall even in those periods when restrictions were relaxed.
Per capita consumption of these products in Croatia remains low, and foreign tourists have historically been key to the sales of RTDs. This is underlined by the fact that the dominant brands are all international formats like Badel 1862 dd’s Bacardi Breezer and PPD Distribucija doo’s Smirnoff Ice; tourist inflows have underpinned the growth of these brands over the review period, in both the on-trade and off-trade.
Immediately prior to the crisis, things had just started looking up for RTDs, with a slight uptick in sales growth. Volume sales are anticipated to return to volume growth in 2021, although pre-pandemic consumption levels will not be re-established before the end of the forecast period.
Sales recovery in RTDs seems to depend on the return of tourists far more than other alcoholic drinks. Although tourism will struggle to rebuild inflows in 2021, as travel bans and consumer uncertainty about the risks of travel remain in place, Croatia has invested heavily in this industry over the review period and the country remains an attractive destination.
Strengthening convenience trends will be the main driver of RTDs in the long term. Younger consumers perceive themselves to have less free time, and want products that are easily consumed on-the-go.
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This report originates from Passport, our RTDs research and analysis database.
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