The on-trade represented the majority of volume sales of RTDs in the United Arab Emirates prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even so, towards the end of the review period, RTDs were becoming less popular in on-trade establishments, with many consumers preferring freshly prepared cocktails, which are perceived as being of higher quality, as well as offering a much wider range of options.
RTD manufacturers began to offer a wider variety of flavours for consumers to enjoy and experiment with at home at the end of the review period. The convenience offered by RTDs allows individuals to consume these drinks immediately instead of having to worry about mixers or added ingredients.
It is strictly forbidden to advertise alcoholic drinks in the United Arab Emirates across all types of media, except for magazines published in English. Distributors are only allowed to promote their products in licensed on-trade outlets.
RTDs is expected to return to strong total volume growth as early as 2021, followed by declining sales over the majority of the remaining forecast period. Growth in 2021 will be entirely driven by strong double-digit development in the on-trade as these establishments begin to reopen and some consumers again start to enjoy an RTD with friends in bars and restaurants, while inbound tourists and expatriates begin to return to the United Arab Emirates as restrictions are lifted.
Despite the eventual easing of the COVID-19-related restrictions and the relaxation in the laws around sales of alcoholic drinks, the consumer base for RTDs in the United Arab Emirates is set to remain limited, which will also limit growth potential in the forecast period. As a result, RTDs are not expected to play a huge role within the alcoholic drinks landscape in the United Arab Emirates going forward.
Recovery from the COVID-19 crisis is likely to centre on innovation, as players concentrate on securing margins as well as getting the omnichannel strategy to work towards impact mitigation and bottom-line growth. Maritime and Mercantile International (MMI) and African + Eastern, the two legal entities that can sell alcohol, have enabled an online delivery service for non-Muslim consumers with a legal license, aged over 21.
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This report originates from Passport, our RTDs research and analysis database.
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