RTDs rebounded strongly in on-trade volume sales terms in 2021, following a steep decline in 2020, due to the exigencies of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. As lockdown and other restrictions eased and local consumers returned towards pre-pandemic levels of social and work activity outside of the home, the on-trade consumption of RTDs increased once more.
Aspirational consumption and the transition to increasingly more sophisticated and higher-end alcoholic drinks has been a key theme in Italy for more than a decade, and premiumisation is set to continue to mark the landscape. However, this will depend greatly on the country’s economic recovery and no further lockdowns or renewed restrictions on foodservice.
Innovation and category development in terms of new product launches, packaging, distribution and consumption moments helped to boost the performance of RTDs at the end of the review period. E-commerce saw dynamic off-trade volume growth in 2021, albeit much slower than the exponential increment recorded in 2020.
Over the forecast period, RTDs is set to remain a somewhat niche category, despite strong growth in demand in the off- and on-trade channels. Category success or failure is predicted to be linked to communication, interaction with consumers and creating a sense of connection through storytelling, especially the narrative threads players weave for their brands.
The non/low alcohol trend is set to continue to gradually build momentum in Italy over the forecast period, offering significant scope for growth in RTDs. Such products are inextricably linked to the rising interest in health and wellness and the concept of mindful drinking, which covers moderate consumption and lifestyle choices in the age of social media.
RTDs is expected to continue to see channel shifts in the forecast period. The recovery of the on-trade channel is affected by the late 2021 outbreak of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which increased numbers of contagions and hampered the performances of the key tourism industry.
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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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