RTDs witnessed a significant improvement in on-trade sales in 2021 as social distancing measures gradually relaxed during the year, leading to increasing numbers of local consumers returning to bars and pubs (which were permitted to resume normal operations later in the year), due to pent-up demand. Nevertheless, on-trade volume sales remained significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels in 2021, as bars were not able to operate at normal levels in the first half of the year, thus hampering a stronger recovery by the channel.
Local flavours of RTDs continued to be popular with consumers in Hong Kong, with the category gradually maturing. Consumers were no longer as interested in the most popular products, and thus turned to more unique flavour profiles for excitement.
In light of the pandemic, many of Hong Kong’s bars and hotels turned to selling RTDs of their famous cocktails to local consumers as a way to mitigate the loss of foot traffic as restrictions continued to inhibit business hours during the first half of 2021. For example, the Mandarin Hotel’s iconic MO Bar started to sell its iconic Avenue of Stars cocktail for admirers of this particular bar and/or drink as a way to continue increasing brand awareness, while renowned cocktail bar Coa partnered with local craft beer brewery Young Master to sell canned versions of its famous La Paloma de Oxaca cocktail.
RTDs is expected to record further growth momentum over the forecast period, despite a fifth wave of the pandemic emerging in the early months of 2022, which led to some of the strictest social distancing measures ever seen in the city. However, bars and other on-trade establishments in Hong Kong were able to operate at normal hours provided that consumers could prove that they have had three vaccine injections, a prerequisite that many local consumers are happy and willing to accept to enjoy a social drinking session with their friends, family and loved ones.
Following the success of local bars penetrating RTDs, other on-trade establishments are set to adopt this strategy to drive up revenue by releasing prepared products of their own. Local bar Ping for example, has been releasing new flavours and cocktails monthly via its online store, which has become extremely popular among frequent patrons in addition to tech-savvy consumers.
RTDs is predicted to see further innovation in the future as breweries and bars start to pivot towards this category. In addition to the innovative drinks launched by local bars, some major players from other alcoholic drinks categories have started to increasingly focus their attention on 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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