After declining at a high double-digit rate in 2020 due to lockdown measures and fears of exposure to COVID-19 in foodservice outlets, on-trade volume sales of RTDs rebounded strongly in 2021 as Uruguayans began socialising outside the home more frequently thanks to the rollout of vaccines and the easing of public health restrictions. Given that young adults comprise the core base for these products, the reopening of nightclubs from August had a particularly positive impact in this respect, while the gradual return of inbound tourists also contributed to the recovery.
RTDs is the smallest of the five main alcoholic drinks categories in Uruguay in volume terms by some distance. It has a relatively narrow appeal, with these products being primarily consumed by young adults at social gatherings or in bars/pubs and nightclubs.
Diageo remained the clear leader in RTDs in total volume sales terms in 2021. The company’s volume share was up substantially on 2020 due to the dynamic performance of spirit-based RTDs, where it has long occupied the top position thanks to the success of Smirnoff Ice and Smirnoff Caipiroska.
RTDs looks set to record solid growth in total volume sales throughout the forecast period. The category is expected to see on-trade volume growth accelerate significantly in 2022 as Uruguayans continue to resume their usual socialising habits and the recovery in inbound tourism gains momentum, and then expand at a more modest but stable pace in this regard from 2023 as consumption patterns normalise.
While the outlook for RTDs over the forecast period is generally favourable, volume growth will be tempered by increasing competition from other types of alcoholic drinks. Most notably, the growing popularity of cocktails – especially varieties made with vodka and gin – and mixed drinks such as Fernet Cola (bitters brand Fernet-Branca combined with Coca-Cola) among young adults will inhibit demand for spirit-based RTDs.
Other RTDs is expected to show the fastest growth in total volume sales over the forecast period. Given the highly fragmented nature of this category, the increasing willingness of young adults who favour RTDs to experiment with different brands, product types and flavours should have a positive influence on its performance.
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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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