Japanese spirit-based RTDs brand, Horoyoi from Suntory Holdings, started being available in the Malaysian market in 2021 through parallel imports. The brand is not yet widely available nationwide, with its presence limited to specialist stores, including Mix.
RTDs saw continued strong decline in total volumes in 2021. The category has had a few rough years in Malaysia in recent times, with its poor results continuing in 2021 as it was negatively impacted by strict restrictions on the operations of on-trade businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heineken Malaysia discontinued its Smirnoff Red Ice brand in Malaysia in 2020. The brand led the RTDs category until 2019 but saw heavy declines in volume sales in what has now become an extremely fragmented category.
Prospects are not bright for RTDs going forward. Both spirit-based and wine-based RTDs are expected to see total volume sales fall over the forecast period.
The initial success of the Japanese brand, Horoyoi, when it entered Malaysia is expected to encourage other foreign brands to look to develop a presence in the market, especially those imported from other Asian markets such as South Korea. For example, the RTD versions of the Korean rice wine, makgeoli, which have already been imported on a very small scale by Korean grocery stores in Kuala Lumpur, may look to establish a stronger presence in the Malaysian market.
While on-trade volumes of RTDs are set to return to growth with the relaxation of COVID-19 related restrictions, the category is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels of on-trade volume sales during the forecast period. As Malaysian consumers have been unable to dine freely in on-trade venues due to the lockdowns, the easing of regulations for consumer foodservice outlets is expected to have a tremendous impact on overall on-trade recovery.
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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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