Like cider/perry, RTDs benefited significantly from home seclusion during the COVID-19 pandemic and the trend towards drinking at home in the context of more time spent at home, the closure of foodservice outlets and consumer concerns about viral transmission through social contact. RTDs saw strong growth in 2020 supported by the fact that its sales are much more heavily biased towards off-trade channels than those of categories such as beer, wine and spirits, so that it was considerably less impacted by restrictions on the operations of bars and restaurants due to the pandemic.
Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, RTDs was benefiting from the trend towards consuming alcoholic drinks at home with meals. With RTDs being mostly consumed with meals, citrus-based products, especially lemon, are the most popular.
Suntory Spirits remained the largest player in RTDs in 2020. Suntory launched Kodawari Sakabano Lemon Sour in March 2019, which became another hit for the company.
RTDs is expected to continue to benefit from the trend towards consuming alcoholic drinks with meals at home during 2021 and beyond. The trend will be sustained in the early part of the forecast period by continued consumer concerns about exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in public settings, with the enduring economic impact of the pandemic and the sense of security provided by cocooning helping to maintain it even once the immediate threat from COVID-19 has diminished.
The further diversification of the offer is expected to add new value to RTDs during the forecast period. As already seen in beer, health-orientated products are expected to become increasingly prominent.
COVID-19 has changed consumer purchasing patterns. Prior to the pandemic, RTDs were usually bought by individual cans as consumers enjoyed choosing from the diverse range on offer.
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This report originates from Passport, our RTDs research and analysis database.
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