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US RTD Alcoholic Beverages market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the RTD Alcohol market, its consumers and the major players who make up that market.

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

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

Beer has avoided dollar declines, despite volume decreases, due to the buffer of pricier craft, imported, and premium offerings. Category shifts may be stunting prices. Import activity favors affordable Mexican beer, and craft acquisitions by larger companies, with production/distribution efficiencies, may lower costs. While beer remains the most popular alcoholic beverage, more beer drinkers reduced consumption in 2017 than increased. Beth Bloom
Associate Director - Food & Drink

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

This report discusses the following key topics:

Definition

This Report includes volume and value sales data for domestic and imported beer for home (off-premise) and on-premise consumption. The Report covers the following beer segments, as defined by the Beverage Information and Insights Group:

  • Light beer (such as Bud Light and Coors Light; includes lowcalorie brands such as Miller 64 and Bud Select 55)
  • Super-premium and premium beer (such as Budweiser and Yuengling; as well as “mass-craft” brands like Blue Moon and Shock Top)
  • Imported beer (including imported light beer brands)
  • Craft beer (such as Boston Beer Co., and Sierra Nevada, which are also referred to as “true craft” in this report)
  • Popular beer (such as Busch, and Miller High Life)
  • Ice beer (such as Natural Ice or Icehouse)
  • Malt liquor

Sales of flavored malt beverages (eg Bud Light’s Lime-A-Rita‎ or Mike’s Hard Lemonade) are sometimes, but not always, included in data tables due to data constraints. That said, these beverages are generally not discussed in this report. For a full discussion and analyses, please refer to Mintel’s RTD Alcoholic Beverages—US, December 2017.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Dollar sales of alcohol increase by 3.5% in 2017, rate of growth will slow
            • Figure 1: Total US sales and forecast of alcoholic beverages, at current prices, 2012-22
          • Alcohol drinkers are more likely to have decreased alcohol consumption in 2017 than increased
            • At-home drinkers primarily seek relaxation
              • Figure 2: At-home drinking occasions, January 2018
            • The opportunities
              • Wine leads for a relaxing evening at home, pairing with food
                • Figure 3: Correspondence Analysis – Alcohol type per occasion, January 2017
              • The majority of home drinkers do so because it’s relaxing
                • Figure 4: Reasons for drinking at home, January 2018
              • One in 10 home drinkers drinks multiple types of alcohol when they drink
                • Figure 5: Drinking behaviors – Behavior, January 2018
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Dollar sales of alcohol increase by 3.5% in 2017, rate of growth will slow
                  • Beer dominates alcohol sales, but wine is growing
                    • The majority of alcohol is consumed off-premise
                      • Drinkers are more likely to have decreased consumption in 2017
                        • Consumer interest in health challenges alcoholic beverage categories
                        • Market Size and Forecast

                          • Dollar sales of alcohol increase by 3.5% in 2017, rate of growth will slow
                            • Figure 6: Total US sales and forecast of alcoholic beverages, at current prices, 2012-22
                            • Figure 7: Total US sales and forecast of alcoholic beverages, at current prices, 2012-22
                            • Figure 8: Total US sales and forecast of alcoholic beverages, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                        • Market Breakdown

                          • Beer dominates alcohol sales
                            • Figure 9: Total US sales and forecast of alcoholic beverages, by segment, at current prices, 2012-22
                          • The majority of alcohol is consumed off-premise
                              • Figure 10: Best- and worst-case forecast value sales of alcoholic drinks (in home), at current prices, 2012-22
                              • Figure 11: Total on-premise alcohol consumption, liters per capita, 2010-20
                          • Market Factors

                            • Drinkers are more likely to have decreased consumption in 2017
                              • Consumer interest in health challenges alcoholic beverage categories
                                • Aging population means a shift in alcohol interest
                                  • Figure 12: Share of population by age, 2013-23
                                • Brands need to cater to preference for staying in
                                  • Saturday night
                                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                    • Lighter offerings bring alcohol in closer alignment with interest in health
                                      • Packaging activity contributes to portability/versatility
                                        • Premium positioning drives engagement, higher spend
                                          • Leveraging technology to boost engagement and sales
                                          • What’s Working?

                                            • Lighter offerings bring alcohol in closer alignment with interest in health
                                              • Growth in cans contributes to portability/versatility
                                                • Figure 13: Alcohol launches, by pack type, 2013-18*
                                              • Premium positioning drives engagement, higher spend
                                                • Figure 14: Alcohol launches, by leading claims, March 2017-February 2018
                                                • Figure 15: Alcohol launches, by fastest-growing claims share, 2013-18*
                                            • What’s Next?

                                              • Alcohol makes a natural transition
                                                • Cocktails will keep things exciting, customizable
                                                  • Leveraging technology to boost engagement and sales
                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Wine leads alcohol consumption
                                                      • Wine is most popular for drinking at home
                                                        • The majority of home drinkers do so because it’s relaxing
                                                          • 79% of home drinkers drink on the weekend
                                                            • One in 10 home drinkers consumes multiple types of alcohol when they drink
                                                              • Two thirds of home drinkers do so while watching TV
                                                              • Alcoholic Beverage Consumption

                                                                • Wine leads alcohol consumption
                                                                  • Figure 16: Alcohol consumption, January 2018
                                                                • Women make up the largest share of wine and cocktail drinkers
                                                                  • Figure 17: Share of alcohol consumption, by gender, January 2018
                                                                • Wine is most likely to retain drinkers as they age
                                                                  • Figure 18: Share of alcohol consumption, by age, January 2018
                                                                • Wine/cocktails are consumed by a larger percentage of higher earners
                                                                  • Figure 19: Share of alcohol consumption, by HH income, January 2018
                                                              • Consumption Location

                                                                • A higher percentage of consumers drink at home than away from home
                                                                  • Figure 20: Alcohol consumption location – Any alcohol, January 2018
                                                                • Wine is popular for drinking at home
                                                                  • Figure 21: Consumption location, by alcohol type, January 2018
                                                                • Youngest respondents are more likely to drink away from home
                                                                  • Figure 22: Alcohol consumption location – Any alcohol, by age, January 2018
                                                                • Respondents from HHs earning less than $50K are significantly more likely to drink at home
                                                                  • Figure 23: Alcohol consumption location – Any alcohol, by HH income, January 2018
                                                              • Reasons for Drinking at Home

                                                                • The majority of home drinkers do so because it’s relaxing
                                                                  • Figure 24: Reasons for drinking at home, January 2018
                                                                • Young drinkers like the ease of staying at home
                                                                  • Figure 25: Reasons for drinking at home, by age, January 2018
                                                              • Consumption Occasions

                                                                • At-home drinkers primarily seek relaxation
                                                                    • Figure 26: At-home drinking occasions, January 2018
                                                                  • Sports-focused occasions have the greatest chance of appealing to men
                                                                      • Figure 27: At-home drinking occasions, by gender, January 2018
                                                                    • Older consumers are more likely to pair alcohol with meals
                                                                      • Figure 28: At-home drinking occasions, by age, January 2018
                                                                    • Higher-income earners are more likely to drink alcohol with a meal
                                                                      • Figure 29: At-home drinking occasions, by HH income, January 2018
                                                                  • Alcohol Types Associated with Various Occasions

                                                                    • Wine leads for a relaxing evening at home, pairing with food
                                                                      • Figure 30: Correspondence Analysis – Alcohol type per occasion, January 2017
                                                                      • Figure 31: Alcohol type per occasion, January 2017
                                                                    • Relaxing evening at home
                                                                      • Beer is strongly associated with casual occasions and sports
                                                                        • Spirits and sparkling wine have strongest celebration association
                                                                          • Celebration
                                                                          • Alcohol Behaviors

                                                                            • Weeknight/weekend
                                                                              • The majority of home drinkers drink on the weekend
                                                                                • Figure 32: Drinking behaviors – weeknight/weekend, January 2018
                                                                              • Close to half of men drink alcohol on weeknights
                                                                                • Figure 33: Drinking behaviors – weeknight/weekend, by gender, January 2018
                                                                              • Drinking behaviors
                                                                                • One in 10 home drinkers drinks multiple types of alcohol when they drink
                                                                                  • Figure 34: Drinking behaviors – Behavior, January 2018
                                                                                • Men are twice as likely to drink multiple types of alcohol in a night
                                                                                    • Figure 35: Drinking behaviors – Behavior, by gender, January 2018
                                                                                  • Younger drinkers are more likely to drink multiple kinds of alcohol
                                                                                    • Figure 36: Drinking behaviors – Behavior, by age, January 2018
                                                                                  • Black drinkers are open to multiple drink types
                                                                                    • Figure 37: Drinking behaviors – Behavior, by race, January 2018
                                                                                • Technology and Drinking at Home

                                                                                  • Two thirds of home drinkers do so while watching TV
                                                                                    • Figure 38: Technology and drinking at home, January 2018
                                                                                  • Men are more likely to be engaged with tech while drinking at home
                                                                                    • Figure 39: Technology and drinking at home, by gender, January 2018
                                                                                  • Under 45s are most likely to be engaged with tech while drinking at home
                                                                                    • Figure 40: Technology and drinking at home, by age, January 2018
                                                                                  • Tech may be a good means of resonating with Black drinkers
                                                                                    • Figure 41: Technology and drinking at home, by race, January 2018
                                                                                • Hosting a Party/Social Gathering

                                                                                  • Half of party hosts provide multiple kinds of alcohol
                                                                                    • Figure 42: Hosting attitudes and behaviors, January 2018
                                                                                  • Men are more likely to be interested in buying alcohol in bulk
                                                                                    • Figure 43: Hosting attitudes and behaviors, by gender, January 2018
                                                                                  • Younger entertainers are incentivized by bulk purchase options
                                                                                    • Figure 44: Hosting attitudes and behaviors, by age, January 2018
                                                                                  • Lower-earning hosts are less likely to provide multiple types of alcohol
                                                                                    • Figure 45: Hosting attitudes and behaviors, by HH income, January 2018
                                                                                  • Alcohol and food pairing can appeal to Asian hosts
                                                                                    • Figure 46: Hosting attitudes and behaviors, by race, January 2018
                                                                                  • Price incentives and convenience hits the mark for hosts
                                                                                    • Wine leads for party guests
                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                                        • Sales data
                                                                                          • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                                                              • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                  • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Total US sales and forecast of beer, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Total US sales and forecast of beer, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Total US sales and forecast of wine, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Total US sales and forecast of wine, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Total US sales and forecast of distilled spirits, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Total US sales and forecast of distilled spirits, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22