RTDs went from positive growth at the start of the review period to posting heavy declines in total volume terms by the end of the review period as these products fell out of favour with their core consumer base of younger adults. The leading producers of RTDs have failed to take an active role in updating their product ranges to remain relevant to the younger generation.
South Korean consumers are famous for their interest in exciting new products and experiences and as such they are always look for fun and exotic new flavours of RTDs. For this reason, the development of exciting new fruit flavours has become a key driver of sales growth in RTDs and a way to overcome the challenges that the category currently faces in terms of its unfavourable and old-fashioned image.
There are some local RTDs products, like rice wine RTDs and shochu/soju RTDs, but none of them have a strong presence. The leading takju (traditional rice wine) manufacturer, Seoul Takju Association, launched wine-based RTDs, Dechez, and Makkao at the end of the review period.
RTDs is expected to face an uphill struggle over the forecast period due to increasing concerns from health conscious consumers over the high calorie and sugar content of many RTDs. As such, total volume sales of RTDs are not expected to return to pre-COVID-19 levels before the end of the forecast period, unless these concerns can be addressed.
Wine-based RTDs is seen to be the most promising area of RTDs, with the number of wine lovers increasing in South Korea. Manufacturers have been expanding the variety of wine-based RTDs and introducing new packaging, such as launching products in metal beverage cans which are easy to transport and are convenient for on-the-go consumption.
South Korean consumers are famous for their interest in exciting new products and experiences and as such they are always look for fun and exotic new flavours of RTDs. For this reason, the development of exciting new fruit flavours will likely be key to the growth of RTDs over the forecast period and a way to overcome the challenges that the category currently faces in terms of its unfavourable and old-fashioned image.
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