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Ready to drink - cocktails and mixed drinks: Ready enjoyment for every occasion


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Ready to drink beverages stir up the alcoholic beverage market: they score with an almost infinite range of flavours and don´t have to be prepared from individual components. Whether bottled mojito, bellini or craft beer with lemonade or juice - what awaits us with ready to drink beverages and why the market for finished drinks will grow in the future.

Ready to drink beverages
Ready to drink cocktails and mixed drinks have many benefits: You can consume them anytime and anywhere without having to prepare them yourself. Whether at home, on the beach, at a party with friends or on a romantic walk for two - a Ready to drink beverage surprises with original flavours and creates the right mood for every event.

Experts predict that the market will grow by an average of 3.44 percent a year and has a volume of around USD 17 billion by 2025. The global market for finished alcoholic beverages is divided into Alcopops, cocktail premixes and bottle cocktails. The Alcopop segment gained significant market share in the global market for ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages in 2018, which is unlikely to change in the 2019-2025 forecast period. The Alcopop segment is further divided into rum, whiskey, vodka and others, and the experts appreciate that vodka will remain dominant during the forecast period. For cocktails in bottles, the highest growth rate of 3.54 percent is expected in the forecast period.

Source: https://www.marketresearchfuture.com/reports/rtd-alcoholic-beverages-market-7920

Since the market for ready to drink beverages is relatively manageable compared to others such as beer or wine, manufacturers can react more flexibly to new trends such as low alcohol or calorie reduction. In times when one of five people e.g. in the U.S. are reducing their alcohol consumption, the Ready to drink segment was the only one to see growth in 2019 compared to the previous year.. Different surveys by Mintel show that the relationship between male and female consumers is fairly balanced

Source: Executive Summary RTD Alcoholic Beverages, US, Mintel, November 2019

Ready-to-drink drinks have a lot to offer - and consumers appreciate the versatility of the colourful creations the most. According to Mintel, US consumers choose Ready to drink beverages for the following reasons:

• 46 percent because they are ready to drink and don´t need any preparation
• 43 percent because they are comfortable
• 41 percent because they offer a wide range of flavours
• 38 percent because they are available for different types of drinks
• 37 percent because you can easily take them anywhere.

Tabelle 1_EN
Taste is the key to Ready to drink beverages

More than all other alcoholic beverages, Ready to drink drinks have a reputation for tasting good - and because of their taste, they are also popular for drinking. Alcohol in combination with soft drink mixers such as ginger ale, bitter lemon, tonic, syrups or fruit juices enables product developers to always find new taste combinations to match the current flavour trends and match them to the needs of consumers.

The colourful ready to drink beverages can thus perfectly satisfy the desire that is widespread in the adventure society for new and exciting taste experiences: According to Nielsen, consumers expect more than ever that products are particularly rich in flavours today. 42 percent of consumers worldwide say they enjoy trying new tastes.


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The colourful ready to drink creations are just the right thing: 40 percent of US consumers over the age of 22 generally drink ready to drink products, 64 percent like them because of their favourite taste, 42 percent because they like to try new tastes, 39 percent prefer one certain types of alcohol and 38 percent buy in the supermarket for special offers. 36 percent prefer Ready to drink because of their low price and 31 percent prefer to buy because of a well-known brand.

Also exciting are the occasions when consumers prefer to grab the practical ready to drink beverages: 54 percent want to drink the mixed drinks easily at any time, 50 percent together with others, 49 percent at home, 43 percent at an outdoor event, 42 percent in summer and 24 percent simply to enjoy.

Source: RTD Alcoholic Beverages, US, Mintel, December 2018

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Flavour trends at ready-to-drink beverages

Which products are particularly popular? Malt drinks with different flavours – e.g. craft beer with added ingredients - are the most popular ready-to-drink products with 21 percent according to a US survey. Immediately afterwards, 18 percent prefer pre-mixed cocktails, 17 percent wine-based drinks and 14 percent alcoholic soda drinks. Eleven percent are fans of alcoholic teas and seven percent are alcoholic seltzers.

Mintel sees an increased interest among ready-to-drink and sparkling wines by women, while creations with ultra low gin with less than 0.5 percent alcohol volume and with lively tastes such as grapefruit or lime would especially attract those who want to consciously reduce alcohol consumption. In China, 51 percent of alcohol consumers see botanicals in particular as ideal ingredients for ready to drink beverages, as they would also help to raise the image of the products and their quality.

Ready to drink beverages_
Would you like a suggestion for a trendy taste? Examples of successful launches include the following:

• Wine spritz with raspberries, blackberries and strawberries
• Sparkling fruit wine with a cherry flavour
• Grapefruit frizzante made from rosé wine

Sounds fresh and tempting, doesn't it?

Frosés are also on the rise, especially for summer: this is an alcoholic drink made from frozen rosé with lemon juice and sugar, which is mixed with other flavours in a slushie style. Visually, Frosés of course make something quite special: their cool look in pink colours predestines them in the summer months as the perfect photo model for social media channels!

Source: "Flavor Focus: Alcoholic Beverages", Regina Haydon, Mintel, May 2018

As in many other beverage segments, manufacturers of ready-to-drink beverages can now additionally score with their prospects if they add ingredients that promote health to their products.

Source: https://www.theiwsr.com/news-and-comment-radius-trend-rtd-evolution/


The global market for ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages is expected to grow to $ 17 billion by 2025. Since the segment is relatively small, manufacturers can react flexibly to new trends - and always offer consumers new taste experiences. This is worth it, because at 46 percent, almost half of consumers estimate ready drinks because they are comfortable, and 41 percent because of their great variety of flavours. The popularity among alcohol-drinking consumers is great: In the USA, 40 percent use the practical and ready to drink beverages!
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Julia WurzerAuthor

Marketing Manager


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