RTD category volume share forecasted to double in next five years

Demand for ready-to-drink (RTD) products continues to grow amongst consumers, with the category expected to account for 8% of total beverage alcohol by 2025 according to a new report from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.

Since 2018, RTD volumes have been growing faster than any other major drinks category and a new IWSR RTD Strategic Study of 10 focus markets which represent more than 85% of all RTD volumes worldwide (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, UK, and US) has forecasted an approximate +15% compound annual growth rate from 2020 to 2025 for the category in these markets, compared to about +1% CAGR for total beverage alcohol during that same period.

“RTDs are still growing at higher rates than spirits, wine, and beer, signalling a major shift in consumer interest in this category across all demographics,” said Brandy Rand, chief operating officer of the Americas at IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.

“But it’s important to note that RTDs aren’t only stealing share from beer, they’re also attracting spirits consumers in markets such as Australia and the UK, and cider drinkers in South Africa. We’re also seeing a significant premiumisation trend in RTDs as more and more new brands enter the space.”

Hard seltzers will remain the primary driver of the volume increases, expected to account for half of all global RTD volumes by 2025 (up from 30% in 2020). Though much growth is expected to come from the US where hard seltzers are already well established, the IWSR predict rapid growth in other markets, Canada (+50% CAGR 2020-2025), the UK (+90%), China (+84%), and Australia (+24%).

“Hard seltzer volumes outside the US are small, but awareness is also low. As that awareness grows, we’re seeing that people are increasingly willing to consider trying these products,” said Rand.

“It’s important to remember that it took a few years for hard seltzers to catch on in America, and we’re still in early days in this category outside the US.”