With bars closed temporarily and shorter opening hours being imposed on pubs and discos, retailers have had to offer more products for home entertainment by offering bundles of alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks. For example, drink specialists, which experienced a substantial loss of trade during the first wave of the lockdown in 2020, started offering deals such as a 6-pack of energy drinks or soft drinks to go with a bottle of more expensive alcohol (such as spirit-based RTD).
Even prior to the pandemic, RTDs continued to register low sales despite its products having long been available in Slovakia. The category suffered from limited new product development in 2019, weak promotional support and low availability in both horeca establishments and retail outlets, resulting in a lack of consumer interest in its products.
Some demand shifted from on-trade to off-trade in 2020 following the outbreak of the pandemic and subsequent on-trade closures. This was supported by product innovation, which brought new drinks to the retail channel.
Recovery in on-trade sales of RTDs is going to remain subdued throughout most of 2021 as consumers will only slowly shift back to their previous lifestyle given lingering wariness over the threat of COVID-19. Moreover, mixing drinks at home from alcohol, syrup and fruit is going to remain strong as purchasing power is diminished owing to the pandemic’s impact on the economy.
Providing a unique point of differentiation will be crucial for producers of RTDs in the forecast period as competition from other alcoholic drinks strengthens. There is no tradition of drinking RTDs in the country, and having drinks mixed in the on-trade carries some prestige and forms part of the social drinking experience for Slovakian consumers.
Future sustainability is a topic gaining weight in Slovakia and manufacturers are expected to take steps towards ensuring eco-friendly goals are achieved. While pack type is not likely to shift from metal cans to a more resourceful format, smart marketing and the support for a healthier and cleaner planet will go a long way among consumers (by showing them that manufacturers really care about such issues).
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the RTDs industry in Slovakia with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our RTDs research and analysis database.
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