Due to restrictions imposed on drinking and socialising outside of the home during the pandemic including bars, cafés, and attending concerts, combined with general consumer caution about spending too long in public spaces, RTDs recorded double-digit decline through on-trade in 2020, a channel which had previously been experiencing dynamic growth rates. This resulted in an inevitable switch towards off-trade, with the latter’s dominance in terms of overall volume sales ensuring that the category’s performance in total volume terms was the strongest within Swedish alcoholic drinks.
RTDs tend to be mainly comprised of sweet flavours which appeal to younger adults, but players have seen a gradual shift in demand in line with global trends whereby RTDs is expanding in terms of offering a greater variety of dry options such as seltzers or “hard soda”. They therefore see hard seltzers as offering greater potential for expanding the category moving forward, both locally and on a global level.
RTDs became increasingly consolidated in 2020, as leading player Krönleins Bryggeri AB gained notable total volume share, while its closest competitors Galatea Spirits and Carlsberg Sverige AB regained lost ground at the expense of Bacardi AB, Multibev AB and Pernod Ricard amongst others. While the category has a strong presence of foreign global brand owners and their extensions, Swedish player Krönleins Bryggeri has been able to work its way up the rankings and record impressive growth due to the popularity of its wine-based RTDs brand Halmstad Crush.
Off-trade sales of RTDs are expected to decline in 2021 due to predictions that Swedes will spend longer outside of the home once restrictions are relaxed, which is not expected to occur until 1 June. However, the summer months coinciding with greater freedom, depending on the threat level of the virus, could see some consumers purchasing RTDs at home before heading out to socialise with friends or on to a bar.
On-trade is expected to receive a strong boost in demand in 2021 compared to its significant decline the previous year, although this will depend on the threat level of the virus and the relaxing of restrictions planned for June. As foodservice establishments and nightlife venues (those that survived the pandemic’s repercussion and the new ones that will open) resume to more normal activity levels, volume sales of RTDs through on-trade are expected to benefit, leading to dynamic growth for 2021 and 2022, before gradually slowing in momentum over the remainder of the forecast period.
Sweden offers further potential for expansion and growth of RTDs due to a general shifting in consumer habits towards lower ABV content beverages, particularly amongst younger adults. New product launches could focus on the concept of hard seltzers offering exciting flavour profiles, while supporting the trend for options with a healthier positioning.
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This report originates from Passport, our RTDs research and analysis database.
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