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RTD Alcoholic Beverages - US - December 2017

"45% of US adults drink RTD (ready-to-drink) alcoholic beverages. While 26% of category participants report drinking more RTDs in the past year, adoption by new consumers has stalled. The category trails behind other alcohol types in both consumption and sales, and is relegated to “also drink” status (only 11% of drinkers say RTDs are their primary alcoholic beverage). "

Beth Bloom, Associate Director, US Food and Drink Reports

This report looks at the following areas:

  • RTD alcoholic beverages are primarily an "also drink"
  • RTD alcoholic beverages are pigeonholed for casual occasions
  • The category struggles with high sugar content, quality

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • RTD alcoholic beverages are primarily an “also drink”
            • Figure 1: Alcohol consumption, September 2017
          • RTD alcoholic beverages are pigeonholed for casual occasions
            • Figure 2: RTD alcoholic beverage consumption occasions, September 2017
          • The category struggles with high sugar content, quality
            • Figure 3: Correspondence analysis – Perceptions of alcoholic drink types, August 2017
          • The opportunities
            • A quarter of RTD alcoholic beverage drinkers have increased consumption in the past year
              • Figure 4: Change in consumption, September 2017
            • Flavor innovation plays a strong role in growing consumption
              • Figure 5: Reasons for drinking more RTD alcoholic beverages, September 2017
            • Wine leads as alcohol of choice for ideal RTD
              • Figure 6: Ideal RTD alcoholic beverages – Alcohol type, September 2017
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Volume sales of FMBs grow 12% from 2012-17
                • Prepared spirits-based cocktails are forecast to climb out of slump
                  • Wine coolers continue to decline, but at a slower rate
                    • RTDs are likely to be primarily an “also drink”
                      • 42% of US adults are currently trying to lose weight
                      • Market Size and Forecast

                        • Volume sales of FMBs grow 12% from 2012-17
                          • Figure 7: Total US volume sales and forecast of flavored malt beverages, 2012-22
                          • Figure 8: Total US volume sales and forecast of flavored malt beverages, 2012-22
                        • Prepared spirits-based cocktails are forecast to climb out of slump
                          • Figure 9: Total US volume sales and forecast of spirits-based prepared cocktails, 2012-22
                          • Figure 10: Total US volume sales and forecast of spirits-based prepared cocktails, 2012-22
                        • Wine coolers continue to decline, but at a slower rate
                          • Figure 11: US volume sales and forecast of wine coolers, 2012-22
                          • Figure 12: US volume sales and forecast of wine coolers, 2012-22
                      • Market Perspective

                        • Volume sales of FMBs outpace alcohol overall; other RTD segments struggle
                          • Figure 13: Total US volume sales of beverage alcohol 2012-16
                          • Figure 14: Total US volume sales of beverage alcohol 2012-16
                        • A quarter of consumers drink 3-4 types of alcohol
                          • Figure 15: Repertoire of alcohol consumption, September 2017
                        • RTDs are primarily an “also drink”
                          • Figure 16: Alcohol consumption, September 2017
                        • Cider, spirits, cocktail drinkers appear as strong targets for RTDs
                          • Figure 17: RTD alcoholic beverage consumption – Any consumption, by alcohol consumption – Any consumption, September 2017
                        • The vast majority of alcohol consumption occurs off-premise
                          • Figure 18: Leading cocktail mentions on menu, Q1-Q3 2017
                      • Market Factors

                        • 42% of US adults are currently trying to lose weight
                          • 84% of consumers are limiting the amount of sugar in their diet
                          • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                            • Cans see strong growth across segments
                              • Focus shifts to portability
                                • RTD alcoholic beverages struggle with high sugar content, quality
                                  • Premiumization could serve as a boost
                                  • Company and Brand Sales of RTD Alcoholic Beverages

                                      • Jose Cuervo dominates MULO sales of premixed cocktails/coolers
                                        • Seltzers experience strong dollar sales growth at MULO
                                          • Sales of premixed cocktails/coolers
                                            • Figure 19: MULO sales of premixed cocktails/coolers, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                          • FMB brands bank on the old being new again
                                            • Bud Light focuses on women, aims at cocktail positioning
                                              • MillerCoors taps into nostalgia with limited-edition return of Zima
                                              • What’s Working?

                                                • New product activity stalls, attention is placed on packaging
                                                  • Figure 20: Flavored malt beverage launches, by launch type, 2013 and 2017*
                                                  • Figure 21: Prepared spirits-based cocktail launches, by launch type, 2013 and 2017*
                                                  • Figure 22: Wine cooler launches, by launch type, 2013 and 2017*
                                                • Cans see strong growth across segments
                                                  • Figure 23: Flavored malt beverage launches, by pack type, 2013 and 2017*
                                                  • Figure 24: Prepared spirits-based cocktail launches, by pack type, 2013 and 2017*
                                                  • Figure 25: Wine cooler launches, by pack type, 2013 and 2017*
                                                • Focus shifts to portability; premiumization could be used as a boost
                                                  • Figure 26: Flavored malt beverage launches, by leading claims, 2013 and 2017*
                                                  • Figure 27: Prepared spirits-based cocktail launches, by leading claims, 2013 and 2017*
                                                  • Figure 28: Wine cooler launches, by leading claims, 2013 and 2017*
                                                • Tropical flavors come out on top for wine coolers, but a large segment of the category is falling behind in flavor innovation
                                                  • Figure 29: Leading wine cooler flavors consumed, Spring 2017
                                                  • Figure 30: Flavored malt beverage launches, by leading flavors, 2013 and 2017*
                                                  • Figure 31: Prepared spirits-based cocktail launches, by leading flavors, 2013 and 2017*
                                                  • Figure 32: Wine cooler launches, by leading flavors, 2013 and 2017*
                                              • What’s Struggling?

                                                • RTD alcoholic beverages struggle with high sugar content, quality
                                                    • Figure 33: Correspondence analysis – Perceptions of alcoholic drink types, August 2017
                                                    • Figure 34: Perceptions of alcoholic drink types, August 2017
                                                • What’s Next?

                                                  • Wine-based RTDs can boost perception of premium
                                                    • Category can piggyback on the success of coffee/tea categories
                                                      • Let’s be clear
                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                        • 45% of drinkers consume RTD alcoholic beverages
                                                          • A quarter of RTD drinkers have increased consumption in the past year
                                                            • RTD alcoholic beverages are associated with casual occasions
                                                              • Flavor plays a strong role in consumption decision
                                                                • Wine leads as alcohol of choice for ideal RTD
                                                                  • Fruit juice leads as mixer of choice for ideal RTD
                                                                  • Who’s Drinking RTD Alcoholic Beverages?

                                                                    • 45% of drinkers consume RTD alcoholic beverages
                                                                      • Figure 35: RTD alcoholic beverage consumption – Any drink, September 2017
                                                                    • Women make up 63% of wine cooler drinkers
                                                                      • Figure 36: Share of alcohol consumption – Any drink, by gender, September 2017
                                                                    • Seagram’s and Bacardi Party products have strongest appeal among women
                                                                      • Figure 37: Flavored alcoholic beverages – Share of brand usage, by gender, Spring 2017
                                                                      • Figure 38: Coolers – Share of brand usage, by gender, Spring 2017
                                                                      • Figure 39: Prepared cocktail mixes with liquor – Share of brand usage, by gender, Spring 2017
                                                                    • RTD alcoholic beverage drinkers skew younger
                                                                      • Figure 40: Share of alcohol consumption – Any drink, by age, September 2017
                                                                    • Established brands perform better with older drinkers, younger drinkers open to variety
                                                                      • Figure 41: Flavored alcoholic beverages – Share of brand usage, by age, Spring 2017
                                                                      • Figure 42: Prepared cocktails – Share of brand usage, by age, Spring 2017
                                                                      • Figure 43: Coolers – Share of brand usage, by age, Spring 2017
                                                                    • Alcoholic seltzers may do well to attract higher earners to the category
                                                                      • Figure 44: Share of alcohol consumption – Any drink, by HH income, September 2017
                                                                      • Figure 45: Flavored alcoholic beverages – Share of brand usage, by HH income, Spring 2017
                                                                      • Figure 46: Prepared cocktail mixes with liquor – Share of brand usage, by HH income, Spring 2017
                                                                      • Figure 47: Coolers – Share of brand usage, by HH income, Spring 2017
                                                                    • 20% of wine cooler drinkers are Black
                                                                      • Figure 48: Share of alcohol consumption – Any drink, by race, September 2017
                                                                    • Bacardi, Seagram’s, and Arbor Mist resonate with Black drinkers
                                                                      • Figure 49: Flavored alcoholic beverages – Share of brand usage, by race, Spring 2017
                                                                      • Figure 50: Prepared cocktails – Share of brand usage, by race, Spring 2017
                                                                      • Figure 51: Coolers – Share of brand usage, by age, Spring 2017
                                                                    • Hispanic drinkers are more willing to experiment with RTDs
                                                                      • Figure 52: Share of alcohol consumption – Any drink, by Hispanic origin, September 2017
                                                                    • Well-known brands hit the mark for Hispanic drinkers
                                                                      • Figure 53: Flavored alcoholic beverages – Share of brand usage, by Hispanic origin, Spring 2017
                                                                      • Figure 54: Prepared cocktails – Share of brand usage, by Hispanic origin, Spring 2017
                                                                  • Change in Consumption

                                                                    • A quarter of RTD alcoholic beverage drinkers have increased consumption in the past year
                                                                      • Figure 55: Change in consumption, September 2017
                                                                    • Flavor innovation plays a strong role in growing consumption
                                                                      • Figure 56: Reasons for drinking more RTD alcoholic beverages, September 2017
                                                                    • Alcoholic seltzers may be growing category participation
                                                                      • Figure 57: Change in consumption, by RTD alcoholic beverage consumption, September 2017
                                                                  • Consumption Occasions

                                                                    • RTD alcoholic beverages are pigeonholed for casual occasions
                                                                      • Figure 58: RTD alcoholic beverage consumption occasions, September 2017
                                                                      • Figure 59: RTD alcoholic beverage consumption occasions, by RTD alcoholic beverage consumption, September 2017
                                                                    • Men are significantly more likely to associate RTDs with bars
                                                                      • Figure 60: RTD alcoholic beverage consumption occasions, by gender, September 2017
                                                                    • Younger consumers are more open-minded about RTD occasions
                                                                      • Figure 61: RTD alcoholic beverage consumption occasions, by age, September 2017
                                                                    • Alcoholic seltzer may appear as a more sophisticated choice
                                                                      • Figure 62: RTD alcoholic beverage consumption occasions, by RTD alcoholic beverage consumption, September 2017
                                                                  • Consumption Drivers

                                                                    • Flavor plays a strong role in consumption decision
                                                                      • Figure 63: RTD alcoholic beverage consumption drivers, September 2017
                                                                    • Women are particularly driven by flavor, men are attracted by brands
                                                                      • Figure 64: RTD alcoholic beverage consumption drivers, by gender, September 2017
                                                                    • Young consumers are particularly drawn to the details of the alcohol
                                                                      • Figure 65: RTD alcoholic beverage consumption drivers, by age, September 2017
                                                                    • Alcoholic seltzer drinkers are most likely to be interested in health-related elements
                                                                      • Figure 66: RTD alcoholic beverage consumption drivers, by RTD alcoholic beverage consumption, September 2017
                                                                  • Ideal RTD Alcoholic Beverage

                                                                    • Alcohol type
                                                                      • Wine leads as alcohol of choice for ideal RTD
                                                                        • Figure 67: Ideal RTD alcoholic beverages – Alcohol type, September 2017
                                                                      • Wine-based RTDs present opportunity to appeal to women
                                                                        • Figure 68: Ideal RTD alcoholic beverages – Alcohol type, by gender, September 2017
                                                                      • Young drinkers are particularly interested in vodka-based drinks
                                                                        • Figure 69: Ideal RTD alcoholic beverages – Alcohol type, by age, September 2017
                                                                      • Wine-based drinks have particular appeal among higher earners
                                                                        • Figure 70: Ideal RTD alcoholic beverages – Alcohol type, by HH income, September 2017
                                                                      • Mixer type
                                                                        • Fruit juice leads as mixer of choice for ideal RTD
                                                                          • Figure 71: Ideal RTD alcoholic beverages – Mixer type, September 2017
                                                                        • Men are more open to splurges than are women
                                                                          • Figure 72: Ideal RTD alcoholic beverages – Mixer type, by gender, September 2017
                                                                        • Tea-based drinks could appeal to a key consumer group
                                                                          • Figure 73: Ideal RTD alcoholic beverages – Mixer type, by age, September 2017
                                                                        • More than a quarter of Asian drinkers are interested in coffee-based RTDs
                                                                          • Figure 74: Ideal RTD alcoholic beverages – Mixer type, by race, September 2017
                                                                        • Other features
                                                                          • Drinkers are most interested in single-serving RTDs in glass bottles, from well-known alcohol brands
                                                                            • Figure 75: Ideal RTD alcoholic beverages – Other features, September 2017
                                                                          • Cans also have stronger appeal among 25-44s
                                                                            • Figure 76: Ideal RTD alcoholic beverages – Other features – Pack type, by age, September 2017
                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                            • Sales data
                                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                                • Repertoire analysis methodology
                                                                                  • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                    • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                        • Figure 77: Flavored malt beverage launches, by launch type, 2013-17*
                                                                                        • Figure 78: Prepared spirits-based cocktail launches, by launch type, 2013-17*
                                                                                        • Figure 79: Wine cooler launches, by launch type, 2013-17*
                                                                                        • Figure 80: Flavored malt beverage launches, by pack type, 2013-17*
                                                                                        • Figure 81: Prepared spirits-based cocktail launches, by pack type, 2013-17*
                                                                                        • Figure 82: Wine cooler launches, by pack type, 2013-17*
                                                                                        • Figure 83: Flavored malt beverage launches, by leading claims, 2013-17*
                                                                                        • Figure 84: Prepared spirits-based cocktail launches, by leading claims, 2013-17*
                                                                                        • Figure 85: Wine cooler launches, by leading claims, 2013-17*
                                                                                        • Figure 86: Leading wine cooler flavors consumed, spring 2017
                                                                                        • Figure 87: Flavored malt beverage launches, by leading flavors, 2013-17*
                                                                                        • Figure 88: Prepared spirits-based cocktail launches, by leading flavors, 2013-17*
                                                                                        • Figure 89: Wine cooler launches, by leading flavors, 2013-17*

                                                                                    RTD Alcoholic Beverages - US - December 2017

                                                                                    US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)