White Spirits - US - November 2013
“Vodka easily dominates the surveyed white spirit and RTD segments, both in volume sales and reported consumption. However, consumers are no longer loyal to one alcoholic beverage or another. Emphasis on craftsmanship, quality, and almost limitless flavor innovation should be leveraged by rum, tequila, gin, and RTD segments to bring in new drinkers both on- and off-premise.”
– Jennifer Zegler, Beverage Analyst
This report looks at the following areas:
- What can inspire more frequent consumption of white spirits and RTDs?
- How can RTDs rebound from slumping sales?
- What’s holding gin back from joining alcohol’s rising tide?
Sales of white spirits continue to out-sell competitive dark spirits, but do not yet measure up to the dominant alcoholic beverage categories of beer and wine. However, consumers’ desires to drink a variety of alcohol across occasions and locations has helped white spirits grow annually since 2009 with such growth projected to continue through 2018. This growth is partially attributable to new product development. Indeed, many vodka, rum, tequila, and gin brands have been experimenting with flavors, ingredients, and aging processes in the hopes of gaining new drinkers.
In contrast, the ready-to-drink (RTD) segment, including flavored malt beverages, wine coolers, and ready-to-drink cocktails, has suffered as consumers embrace variety. Indeed, the cocktail trend has led many consumers to prefer the real thing rather than a RTD version. Yet, the segment still connects on the positive attribute of convenience, which remains a driver across many CPG categories.
The opportunity exists for manufacturers to stop chasing individual brand loyalty, instead showcasing the benefits of trying a range of alcoholic beverages. Marketing can match a spirit to an occasion or showcase the breadth of options available to accompany a dinner party, sports game viewing, or night out on the town. By aligning with consumers’ current cross-category habits, manufacturers with large portfolios could benefit overall rather than chasing success in specific brands.
For the purposes of this report, Mintel will cover the following segments:
Rum, including dark, aged, and/or spiced rum
Tequila, including aged varieties
Ready-to-drink (RTD) pre-made alcoholic beverages, including wine coolers, flavored malt beverages, and ready-to-drink pre-mixed cocktails
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