The RTD category firmly holds the youngest cohort of legal drinkers, which directly translates into a sizeable multicultural audience. While flavor, alcohol content, and alcohol base type drive RTD purchasing decisions, seeing a familiar brand is also on consumers’ radars. Alcohol and fruit flavor component subgroups dominate the RTD category.
Consumers are looking for limited-time flavors such as holiday and seasonal, nostalgic, and internationally inspired ones. Margarita, piña colada, and gin & tonic flavors dominate RTD launch activity, while mango, lime, and watermelon flavors lead the fruit, citrus, and berry fruit flavor subcategories.
Continuous innovation in style and taste has allowed the flavored malt beverage segment to maintain steady growth, while spirit-based RTDs are again shaking up the alcohol landscape and offering an affordable alternative to the cocktail experience.