Although total volume consumption of RTDs had already seen a decline for several years, in 2020 the fall in sales was accelerated by COVID-19. The government implemented a lockdown to stop the spread of the virus, which led to the closure of foodservice outlets.
Due to their high unit price, these products are mostly purchased by higher-income consumers. Although they are more expensive than buying spirits and mixers, RTDs are purchased by some for their convenience and pre-mixed feature, as they are easy off-trade substitutes for drinks that can be prepared in pubs or bars.
International player Diageo Uruguay continued to lead RTDs in total volume terms in 2020, extending its share slightly. Its strong position is thanks to its Smirnoff Ice and Smirnoff Caipiroska brands in spirit-based RTDs, which are well-known and widely distributed in the country.
RTDs is expected to rebound to a stable performance in total volume terms in 2021. Although COVID-19 restrictions remained in place in the first half of the year, it is likely that along with the rollout of vaccination the performance will improve in the second half of the year, although on-trade sales are set to continue to see a slight decline in the year overall.
Other RTDs, such as Tunuyan from Mendoza, is set to continue to see the best performance within RTDs in total volume terms. This is likely to lead to greater fragmentation in RTDs, due to the lack of major players in this category.
With supermarkets accounting for most than three quarters of off-trade volume sales in 2020, the majority of sales of RTDs are likely to continue to be via this distribution channel in the forecast period. However, some consumers started to turn to e-commerce as a safer and more convenient way to shop during COVID-19.
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This report originates from Passport, our RTDs research and analysis database.
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