2020
9
US RTD Alcoholic Beverages Market Report 2020
2021-01-12T03:01:24+00:00
OX987320
3695
130878
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Report
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“RTD alcoholic beverages are a bright spot in the alcohol space, avoiding the flight seen in other alcohol categories and even continuing to recruit new and older users. Seltzers remain…

US RTD Alcoholic Beverages Market Report 2020

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the U.S RTD Alcoholic Beverages market including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

RTD alcoholic beverages remain a bright spot in the alcohol space, avoiding the flight seen in other categories. Seltzers continue to drive growth, and volume increases will continue as large brands enter the category, bringing their marketing heft and distribution. While the category was not as strongly impacted by on-premise drinking declines due to the COVID-19 pandemic, RTDs experience their own challenge – being largely seen as social drinks during a time when large gatherings are curtailed. Category players can use this time to nurture a sense of community among current users and onboard new users looking for accessible excitement at home.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our U.S Food and U.S Drinks market research.

Quickly Understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the RTD alcoholic beverages market.
  • Importance of focusing on quality during time of economic uncertainty.
  • Role of health and where category players may focus their efforts.
  • Need for category to prepare for return to on-premise drinking.

Covered in this report

Products included: Flavored malt beverages – includes prepared malt beverages such as Bud Light Lime-a-Rita; Prepared spirits-based cocktails – drinks such as Bacardi Classic Cocktails Mojito that are made with distilled spirits; Wine coolers – made with wine combined with fruit juices and other sweeteners.

Brands featured: Waveline, VIzzy, Crook and Marker, Smirnoff, Corona, Coors, Labatt, Malibu, Seagram’s, On the Rocks, Southern Tier Brewing Co., Ketel One, Press, Kahlúa, La Colombe and more.

 

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Beth Bloom, a leading analyst in the Food and Drink sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

RTD alcoholic beverages are a bright spot in the alcohol space, avoiding the flight seen in other alcohol categories and even continuing to recruit new and older users. Seltzers remain the growth driver, getting a further boost from large brands entering the market from both within and outside the alcohol space. The category must use this time to expand beyond its strong tie to large parties and encourage turning to products for more casual, everyday unwinding. Health will remain a driver of product choice and drinking choice, though it may be less of a low/no numbers game than a focus on quality.

Beth Bloom

Associate Director – Food and Drink

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • COVID-19: Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US volume sales and forecast of flavored malt beverages, 2015-23
      • Figure 2: Total US volume sales and forecast of spirits-based prepared cocktails, 2015-23
      • Figure 3: Total US volume sales and forecast of wine coolers, 2015-23
    • Impact of COVID-19 on RTD alcoholic beverages
      • Figure 4: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on RTD alcoholic beverages, December 2020
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Reemergence
      • Figure 5: Perception of RTD alcoholic beverages launches versus all alcohol launches, January 2019-November 2020
    • Pandemic habit changes point to opportunities for RTDs
      • Figure 6: Reasons for drinking less alcohol, July 2020
    • Drinkers want to make “healthy” choices
      • Figure 7: Alcohol statements – Health – Any agree, by alcohol type consumed – Any drink, September 2020
    • Recovery
      • Figure 8: Top three RTD alcoholic beverages launches perceived as healthy, January 2019-November 2020
    • RTDs can be the playground for functional alcohol
      • Figure 9: RTD alcoholic beverage consumption – Any drink, 2018-20
    • RTD drinkers are becoming more discerning
      • Figure 10: Important factors in RTD Alcoholic beverage choice, September 2018 and September 2020
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • FMBs drive category sales and growth
    • RTDs avoid flight seen in other alcohol categories
    • RTDs spared from on-premise declines, challenged by physical distance
    • A focus on quality can attract and retain consumers
    • Category should prepare for return to on-premise drinking
  4. Market Size and Forecast

    • Volume sales of FMBs projected to double from 2020-23
      • Figure 11: Total US volume sales and forecast of flavored malt beverages, 2015-23
      • Figure 12: Total US volume sales and forecast of flavored malt beverages, 2015-23
    • Prepared spirits-based cocktails continue their steady climb
      • Figure 13: Total US volume sales and forecast of spirits-based prepared cocktails, 2015-23
      • Figure 14: Total US volume sales and forecast of spirits-based prepared cocktails, 2015-23
    • Wine cooler declines slowing
      • Figure 15: Total US volume sales and forecast of wine coolers, 2015-23
      • Figure 16: Total US volume sales and forecast of wine coolers, 2015-23
      • Figure 17: RTD alcoholic beverage launches, by launch type, December 2019-November 2020
  5. Market Factors

    • RTDs immune to alcohol declines, for now
      • Figure 18: Alcohol consumption, 2017-20
    • RTDs outperform all alcohol launches; can secure value by proving worth
      • Figure 19: Perception of RTD alcoholic beverages launches versus all alcohol launches, January 2019-November 2020
      • Figure 20: Expected US unemployment, 2019-25
      • Figure 21: Impact of COVID-19 on alcohol consumption, by HH income, July 2020
    • Quest for health continues, drinkers want to feel good about their choices
      • Figure 22: Alcohol statements – Health – Any agree, by alcohol type consumed – Any drink, September 2020
    • Youngest drinkers exhibit strongest flight; engage through experience
      • Figure 23: Change in instance of alcohol consumption, 2017-20
    • The expansion of cannabis legalization challenges alcohol
      • Figure 24: Substances consumed or used – Marijuana/cannabis (any format), October 2019
    • Pandemic-related stress boosted drinking among some
      • Figure 25: Impact of COVID-19 on alcohol consumption, July 2020
      • Figure 26: Reasons for drinking more alcohol, July 2020
    • RTDs can provide a much-needed mood boost during tough times
      • Figure 27: Alcohol motivations, by RTD alcoholic beverages consumption, July 2020
    • RTDs can find opportunity in pandemic habit changes
      • Figure 28: Reasons for drinking less alcohol, July 2020
    • COVID-19 increased drinking alone, on weeknights and via delivery
      • Figure 29: Impact of COVID-19 on alcohol behavior, by RTD alcoholic beverages drinkers, July 2020
  6. Market Opportunities

    • The category is in need of community
      • Figure 30: Alcohol statements – Alcohol – Any agree, by alcohol type consumed – Any drink, September 2020
    • RTDs can be the playground for functional alcohol
    • Nurture exploration and loyalty through delivery and subscriptions
      • Figure 31: Alcohol purchase location, by RTD alcoholic beverages consumption, July 2020
    • Be ready to strike on-prem
  7. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Large brands caught flat-footed in the seltzer craze find their ground
    • Lows and nos may not equate to BFY
    • Flavor innovation moving in the right direction
  8. Competitive Strategies

    • Big brands continue to play catch-up, each brings its own twist
      • Figure 32: Corona Hard Seltzer Glass, December 7, 2020
      • Figure 33: The Sacrifice, October 6, 2020
      • Figure 34: Top three RTD alcoholic beverages launches perceived as quality, January 2019-November 2020
      • Figure 35: Top three RTD alcoholic beverages launches perceived as premium, January 2019-November 2020
    • Seltzer drinkers support small brands
      • Figure 36: Alcohol statements – Brand – Any agree, by alcohol type consumed – Any drink, September 2020
    • Seltzer brands go hard
    • Leading lime gives way to wider array of flavors
      • Figure 37: RTD alcoholic beverage launches, by leading flavors, 2018-20*
      • Figure 38: RTD alcoholic beverage launches, by fastest growing flavors, 2018-20*
      • Figure 39: Interest in alcoholic beverage flavors – Any interest (net), May 2020
    • Flavor variety contributes to perception of tasty
      • Figure 40: Top three RTD alcoholic beverages launches perceived as tasty, January 2019-November 2020
    • Health-focused flavors and organic positioning boost health perception
      • Figure 41: Top three RTD alcoholic beverages launches perceived as healthy, January 2019-November 2020
    • Seltzers excel at natural perception
      • Figure 42: Top three RTD alcoholic beverages launches perceived as natural, January 2019-November 2020
    • It doesn’t need to be a race to the bottom, but you have to show effort
      • Figure 43: RTD alcoholic beverage launches, by average calories, 2018-20*
      • Figure 44: RTD alcoholic beverage launches, by average sugar, 2018-20*
      • Figure 45: RTD alcoholic beverage launches, by leading claims, 2018-20*
    • Seasonality can extend RTD relevance throughout the year
    • Cans continue to grow share, underperform bottles on taste perception
      • Figure 46: Perception of canned RTD alcoholic beverages launches versus bottled RTD alcoholic beverages launches, January 2019-November 2020
      • Figure 47: RTD alcoholic beverage launches, by pack type, 2018-20*
  9. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • RTDs increase penetration, led by growth in seltzer consumption
    • Flavor innovation key to category success
    • Convenience is a strong draw, health gaining importance
    • Social nature of RTDs requires creativity during health pandemic
    • Health serves as more of a barrier than a draw
  10. RTD Alcoholic Beverage Consumption

    • Seltzers drive RTD consumption increase; tea predictions are coming true
      • Figure 48: RTD alcoholic beverage consumption – Any drink, 2018-20
    • Wine-based drinks find strongest appeal among women, gaining men
      • Figure 49: RTD alcoholic beverage consumption – Any drink, by gender, September 2020
    • Nearly three quarters of 25-34s drink RTDs, consumer base getting older
      • Figure 50: RTD alcoholic beverage consumption – Any drink, by age, September 2020
    • Quality boost could retain younger drinkers
      • Figure 51: Change in share of RTD alcoholic beverage consumption – Any drink, by age, September 2019-September 2020
    • Seltzer consumption skews toward higher earners; important to prove worth
      • Figure 52: Share of RTD alcoholic beverage consumption – Any drink, by HH income, September 2020
    • Sparkling wine and white spirits are stronger competitive targets than beer
      • Figure 53: RTD alcoholic beverage consumption – Any drink, by alcohol type consumed – Any drink, September 2020
  11. Change in RTD Alcoholic Beverage Consumption

    • 35% of RTD drinkers have increased consumption in the past year
      • Figure 54: Change in RTD alcoholic beverage consumption, September 2020
    • The category boosts engagement among men
      • Figure 55: Change in RTD alcoholic beverage consumption, by gender, September 2020
    • RTDs gain strength among 35-44s
      • Figure 56: Change in RTD alcoholic beverage consumption, by age, September 2020
    • Flavor innovation has driven consumption increase
      • Figure 57: Reasons for drinking more RTD alcoholic beverages, September 2020
    • Sugar vigilance is one means of preventing flight, but more can be done
      • Figure 58: Reasons for drinking fewer RTD alcoholic beverages, September 2020
  12. Reasons for Choosing RTD Alcoholic Beverages

    • Health lags behind reasons for choosing RTDs, but grows importance
      • Figure 59: Reasons for choosing RTD Alcoholic beverages, September 2020
      • Figure 60: Reasons for choosing RTD Alcoholic beverages, September 2018 and September 2020
    • Portability wins seltzer drinkers
      • Figure 61: Reasons for choosing RTD Alcoholic beverages, by alcohol type consumed – Any drink, September 2020
    • Women are drawn to convenience, men like RTDs for what they are
      • Figure 62: Reasons for choosing RTD Alcoholic beverages, by gender, September 2020
    • Occasional convenience has best chance of gaining older drinkers
      • Figure 63: Reasons for choosing RTD Alcoholic beverages, by age, September 2020
  13. RTD Alcoholic Beverage Consumption Occasions

    • Brands need to improve small scale and solo RTD occasions
      • Figure 64: Correspondence analysis – Symmetrical map – Alcohol consumption by occasion, September 2020
      • Figure 65: Alcohol consumption by occasion, September 2020
    • RTD consumption is a social occasion for women
      • Figure 66: Alcohol consumption by occasion – Any RTD*, by gender, September 2020
  14. Important Factors in RTD Alcoholic Beverage Choice

    • Flavor plays an outsized role for RTD drinkers
      • Figure 67: Alcohol statements – Choice – Any agree, by alcohol type consumed – Any drink, September 2020
    • RTD drinkers are becoming more discerning
      • Figure 68: Important factors in RTD Alcoholic beverage choice, September 2020
      • Figure 69: Important factors in RTD alcoholic beverage choice, September 2018 and September 2020
    • Flavor is key for women
      • Figure 70: Important factors in RTD alcoholic beverage choice, by gender, September 2020
    • 22-34s are just as likely to be looking at total calories as they are brand
      • Figure 71: Important factors in RTD Alcoholic beverage choice, by age, September 2020
    • Low calories outweighs low price among seltzers drinkers
      • Figure 72: Important factors in RTD Alcoholic beverage choice, by alcohol type consumed – Any drink, September 2020
  15. Barriers to RTD Alcoholic Beverage Consumption

    • Sugar and quality control can boost engagement
      • Figure 73: Barriers to RTD alcoholic beverage consumption, September 2020
      • Figure 74: Barriers to RTD alcoholic beverage consumption, by RTD alcoholic beverage consumption, September 2020
    • Health improvements will engage reliable drinkers, with spillover benefits
      • Figure 75: Barriers to RTD alcoholic beverage consumption, by age, September 2020
    • Men are less likely to see themselves in the category
      • Figure 76: Barriers to RTD alcoholic beverage consumption, by gender, September 2020
  16. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Consumer survey data
    • Correspondence analysis methodology
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
  17. Appendix – Companies and Brands

      • Figure 77: Multi-outlet sales of beer (including flavored malt beverages)*, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
      • Figure 78: Multi-outlet sales of premixed cocktails/coolers, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

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*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

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