While on-trade sales of RTDs saw a much stronger growth rate compared to off-trade sales in 2021, this was due to the partial recovery of significant on-trade sales lost during pandemic-related hospitality closures and subsequent operational restrictions. RTDs has been characterised by a lack of investment over the review period, and even before the pandemic were seeing a broad trend of falling sales.
While the leading brands remain Gordon’s Space, Bacardi Breezer and Smirnoff Ice due to their wide availability both off- and on-trade, the pandemic-related closure of horeca and the shift away from on-trade consumption have allowed room for more players to enter RTDs via supermarkets, resulting in the competitive landscape becoming more fragmented. In partnership with My Market supermarket (the third largest supermarket chain in Greece), Tsaknakis Bros SA (a small-scale distributor of premium spirits) has introduced MG RTD cocktails and spirit-based premixes ranging from classics such as Mojito and Gin-Tonic to more unique mixes such as Vodka Passion Fruit and Whiskey Ginger Ale.
Hard seltzer was introduced in Greece at the end of 2020. Product awareness remains low among consumers despite the entry of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co in the category with the launch of Topo Chico in three flavours (Cherry Acai, Tangy Lemon, and Mango).
Once total volume sales of RTDs return to pre-pandemic levels in the early part of the forecast period, they will continue to see relatively flat growth, with the decline in off-trade sales counterbalance by growth in on-trade sales following the reopening of bars and tourism levels returning to normal. Sales will be maintained due to the sharp rise in new product launches at the end of the review period and also the introduction of hard seltzer.
Upon bars reopening in 2021, off-trade sales of alcoholic drinks including RTDs started to decline in Greece. The reopening of bars was followed by an increase in on-trade volumes; however, this was slower compared to other categories as the sales growth momentum in RTDs came from products that are more off-trade orientated, most of which are not available on-trade as they are spirit-based premixes or RTD cocktails for which there is no market on-trade.
An obstacle to the sales growth of RTDs is that the largest category, spirit-based RTDs, is subject to seasonality, with sales peaking in summer and tourist flows playing a key role in its performance. With regard to on-trade consumption, beach bars are set to remain a key channel for spirit-based RTDs.
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RTD stands for ‘ready-to-drink’. Other terms which may be used for these products are FABs, alcopops and premixes. The RTDs sector is the aggregation of malt-, wine-, spirit- and other types of premixed drinks. These drinks usually have an alcohol content of around 5% but this can reach as high as 10% ABV. Premixes containing a high percentage of alcohol of around 15%+ combined with juice or any other soft drink are included here. RTDs are usually marketed as products to be drunk neat, with ice, or as a cocktail ingredient. Fruit-flavoured, vodka-based spirits with an alcohol content of between 16-21% are classified here. Examples: Alizé, Ursus Roter, Berentzen Fruchtige, Kleiner Feigling.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our RTDs research and analysis database.
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