Following global trends, hard seltzers began to gain traction in 2021, particularly vodka-based RTDs, driven by a number of factors. First, RTDs witnessed strong growth in 2021 following greater demand for products which offered convenient packaging and consumption occasions.
Innovation in the category saw an increase in female-focused product launches, as manufacturers began to aggressively target this audience, acknowledging untapped potential for future growth in RTDs and the overall market. New innovations included the rebranding of existing products, as well as additional packaging options and redesign.
Bulk buying and specials continued in 2021 across all alcoholic drinks categories. However, RTDs witnessed aggressive special offers at off-trade establishments, such as drinks specialists, along with an uptick in bulk buying via e-commerce.
Following the challenges faced by RTDs at the beginning of the pandemic, the category is predicted to record a positive performance over the forecast period, with brand success determined by effective marketing and product positioning. This is due to the maturity of RTDs, which prior to the pandemic, was showing signs of significant growth potential.
Wine-based RTDs is projected to record dynamic growth over the forecast period, primarily driven by increasing consumer demand for fruitier beverages. This is evident by wine-based RTDs being one of the least impacted categories during the pandemic, indicating its resilience.
While RTDs recorded impressive growth in 2021 following the declines of 2020, driven by numerous product launches, a more interesting prediction for the forecast period is the increased use of RTDs as a way for manufacturers to easily diversify their product portfolios to enter other categories. This is typified by the launch of Flying Fish’s Hard Seltzer, with the brand traditionally operating in beer.
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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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