The report cites that RTD alcohol (which includes hard seltzers) has grown faster than any other alcoholic beverage category since 2018.
Factors driving market growth include:
- RTD cocktails are all about the sensorial benefits they bring—think taste, flavor, mouthfeel, or texture. Research from IWSR shows that flavor is the number one reason that people drink RTD cocktails. It’s no surprise that premium products with natural ingredients are the driving force in this category.
- The RTD space is ripe for innovation. Most new product launches in the past 12 months have had a premium slant and in the United State, spirit-based cocktails such as vodka, tequila and rum are driving the growth, pushing ahead where most products are still malt based.
- The report cites that variety in RTD beverages offers a way for consumers to experiment with different flavors and spirits.
- Post-covid, brands are looking to expand and reach consumers through non-traditional off-premise channels such as golf courses, cinemas, sports arenas, airlines, amusement parks, and music venues—a broad range of different consumption opportunities and occasions.
- Innovation in RTD formatting is on the rise with smaller formats becoming popular, but some premium brands are also looking at larger formats, such as glass bottles for home bars for example, or eye-catching cans for taking to the beach or events.
- Whisky-based cocktails and high-proof, spirit-based cocktails are growing, with a world of spirits to be explored and endless flavor pairing options to play with.
- Growth in non-alcohol spirit-based cocktails is also expected.
- Consumers are becoming more educated about ingredients and seeking to learn more about what they are drinking, often favoring spirit-based RTD alcohol over malt or fermented sugar base drinks.