Wine-based RTDs recorded strong growth in 2019 whilst remaining much less popular than rival types of alcoholic drinks such as still light grape wine and sparkling wine, with demand confined to a relatively narrow niche of well-informed and sophisticated urban consumers. Nevertheless, there is growing interest in new and different types of alcoholic beverages, which has proven positive for sales of wine-based RTDs.
Despite the strong total volume growth of wine-based RTDs over the final two years of the review period, this was from a low base and spirit-based RTDs remained by far the most popular option due to the conservative consumer perception of these products. Russian consumers tend to stick to their favourite tastes and place their trust in proven brands.
On-trade sales of RTDs face considerable and specific challenges in Russia due to the growing interest in freshly prepared cocktails and mixed drinks, especially among younger consumers. This forms part of the increasingly prevalent wine bar and cocktail bar culture that was emerging strongly in Russia’s numerous major urban areas prior to the COVID-19 crisis, following the stabilisation of the Russian economy.
Despite these hurdles, RTDs is expected to record good total volume growth over the forecast period. Growth rates will plummet in 2021 as many Russians tighten their belts after the devastating impacts on disposable incomes from the pandemic, although these products will achieve accelerating growth rates over the remainder of the forecast period.
While many consumers are seeking new flavours in low-alcohol areas such as beer and cider, in RTDs they are anticipated to remain more conservative. New product developments in the early part of the forecast period featuring exotic, fruit flavours are more likely to be an exception rather than a powerful competitive tool.
Glass bottles and metal beverage cans are likely to remain the preferred types of packaging in RTDs. The advantage of glass is that it is perceived as more premium, while cans are convenient from the manufacturer's point of view.
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This report originates from Passport, our RTDs research and analysis database.
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