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  • Writer's pictureVik F.

Sipping Towards $40 Billion: The RTD Boom Continues

As we sail through the 2020s, the beverage industry is swirling with trends. And we're seeing one category in particular with booming success —the Ready-to-Drink (RTD) alcohol sector. While our backyards might not have transformed into swanky bars, the allure of expertly crafted RTD cocktails means we don't need them to. Expected to fizz its way to an impressive $40 billion by 2027, the RTD category is shaking up the beverage world, one premium can at a time.

According to the recent IWSR RTDs Strategic Study 2023, a journey across 10 key markets, including familiar names like the US, UK, and the ever-surprising China, reveals some eye-opening insights. Together, these regions account for a whopping 83% of global RTD consumption, summing up to a cool $33.9 billion in 2022. But here's where it gets interesting—while the once-popular hard seltzers are seeing a decline, especially in the US, it's the sophisticated cocktails and long drinks, coupled with premium-priced concoctions, that are the heroes of this spirited narrative.

So, what's the cocktail chatter around this? With the global RTD market maturing, the growth pace is somewhat mellowing down, but don't be mistaken—opportunities are still ripe and bubbling. Especially if you're into premium products that have nailed the trio of base, flavor, and alcohol content (ABV). Susie Goldspink, the Head of RTD Insights at IWSR, offers a tidbit that’s worth toasting to: despite economic headwinds, premium-plus RTDs saw double-digit growth in seven of the major markets in 2022. And as consumers get experimental, broadening their RTD palates and upping their drinking frequency, the RTD wagon is one we'd all love to hop on.

But here's a closing clinker—while vodka continues its reign as the go-to spirit base for RTDs, tequila is shaking things up, giving gin a run for its tonic. So, the next time you're at the store, hunting for that weekend sipper, remember: you're not just buying a drink, you're participating in a global trend, making its fizzy mark, one can at a time.


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