The RTD category has witnessed declining volume sales for much of the review period, although in 2020 it received a welcome boost as COVID-19 restrictions forced consumers to purchase RTDs through retailers. Most consumers buy RTDs for convenience because they are easy to drink on the go and offer the consumer a pre-mixed drink in the form of a spirit and mixer or layered cocktail, which removes the hassle involved in making one yourself.
Some of the most popular RTD brands in supermarkets and convenience stores are those made by famous spirit brands, who have financial backing and can leverage an established customer base. Gordon’s G&Ts remain one of the most popular and well-known RTDs in Ireland as they are widely available in retail channels.
Hard Seltzers have existed in Ireland for several years with Irish-made brand Loki & Co quickly picking up on the category’s growth in the US and launching their own line of seltzers in 2017, marketed as ‘Europe’s original seltzer’. International brands are now getting in on the action, with the leading American brand White Claw launching in Ireland in 2020.
Although cocktails is far from a new development, cocktail RTDs in cans are a format expected to thrive in the future. The COVID-19 pandemic saw a surge in home cocktail-making, but as people start returning to previous lifestyles they may switch to RTDs as an easier format to blend into day to day life.
One of the more recent RTD developments in 2021 is premium RTDs offering in glass bottles with multiple or single servings, designed to appeal to on-trade and off-trade customers. In the on-trade they may appeal to those who want to offer quality cocktails but don’t have the expertise in-house to mix cocktails.
As in most categories, RTDs has also seen the arrival of non-alcoholic alternatives as the health and wellness trend becomes an increasingly important driver for consumers. For those looking to cut down their alcohol intake, non-alcoholic drinks can offer the same experience without the health repercussions.
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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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