Cocktails-made-easy is one of the biggest drinks trends of 2023 – so let’s take a look at the brands driving the RTD cocktails boom.
Opportunities to enjoy an al fresco cocktail or two have been thin on the ground so far this year. But, despite the summer weather not being quite what we’d all hoped, our favourite pre-mixed drinks have been flying off the shelves.
It’s no secret that drinks industry news is one of our favourite topics. So, we thought we’d look a little closer at the factors and products driving The Great Ready-to-Drink Boom of 2023:
- The rise of RTD cocktails.
- Why are RTD cocktails booming?
- The top 5 RTD cocktails to try in 2023.
- What does the future hold for RTD cocktails?
- Drinks industry obsessives.
The rise of RTD cocktails
Whether or not you’ve had chance to taste test the huge selection now available in supermarkets, you’ll probably have noticed that options for RTD cocktails have accelerated rapidly in recent years.
Having been a small player in the drinks market for several years before, RTD cocktails really began to boom during the pandemic. But far from being just a sip in the glass, the category has continued on its trajectory ever since.
Just one look at the numbers will tell you that RTD cocktails have officially arrived – and that they’re not going anywhere.
According to data from Mintel, volume sales of RTD spirits-based cocktails increased 226% between 2016 and 2021. And the category hasn’t slowed down since.
Why are RTD cocktails booming?
Okay, so we know the facts. But why exactly are they so popular? Plenty of factors play a part.
Ready-to-drink cocktails – AKA pre-mixed spirits and mixers in single-serve cans – are an easy, affordable option for a post-work or weekend tipple. They’re a great way to bring the taste and experience of an expertly-crafted cocktail to your home, and make it easy to add something a little special to gatherings and events.
With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to make it more difficult for people to spend as much time (and money) in bars, restaurants and pubs, RTD cocktails are an ideal alternative.
The fact that there are so many fantastic products available across the market is just the garnish on the glass.
The top 5 RTD cocktails to try in 2023
It’s not easy narrowing down the wide range of delicious RTDs. But, after a few calm(ish) conversations in the office, our consumer geeks finally came out with their consensus…
While most of the RTDs you see on shelves are gin or vodka-based, ranges are expanding to appeal to more tastes. The Lazy Old Fashioned, crafted by Batch & Bottle and made with rich, smooth Monkey Shoulder whisky, is just one example.
Ideal served over ice with a zesty orange twist, this sophisticated RTD is the perfect after dinner drink.
Lazy Old Fashioned (William Grant & Sons)
A simple option, made a little lighter. This classic Gin & Tonic RTD by Sipsmith uses light tonic water, cutting calories by 30% without compromising on the crisp, clean taste G&T fans love so much.
Delicious sipped straight out of the can or tipped over lashings of ice and served with your favourite botanicals.
Gin & Light Tonic (Sipsmith)
Take yourself to Italy with the beautifully refreshing taste of Beviamo’s Italian Spritz. Mixed to a traditional recipe with their own bitter liqueur, Italian wine and soda water, it’s perfect for days where you need that summer holiday feeling.
Italian Spritz (Global Brands)
Maybe you’d prefer something a little sweeter? In that case, you’ll love All Shook Up’s Peach & Lychee pre-mixed spritz. This one’s a wine-based cocktail, which is another portion of the RTD cocktail category that’s on its way up.
Peach & Lychee White Wine Spritz (Global Brands)
For a splash of nostalgia, you can’t beat a classic can of Lemon Brew Hooch. The OG Hooch flavour is one of the longest-standing RTDs in the game, and we promise that its sweet and sharp finish will be just as refreshing as you remember.
Have it on its own or as part of a signature Hooch cocktail. Or, if you fancy something new, why not check out the new Blue Hooch Tropicade?
Lemon Brew (Global Bands)
What does the future hold for RTD cocktails?
As utterly delicious as this lineup is, it really is just a drop in the drinks can. It’s also far from the end of the story.
In fact, all signs suggest that the coming years will be big ones for the RTD cocktail category.
For one thing, there’s so much scope for growth! According to a report by Simpsons Beverages, the core market right now is 18-34 year olds, making older age groups an underserved market. There are also major opportunities for low-and-no alcohol RTDs, now that alcohol-free options are more in-demand than ever.
With new products cropping up all the time and different brands vying for a seat at the bar, it’s little wonder that major growth is forecast for the foreseeable future.
In 2023 alone, predictions published by Technavio suggest that the category could achieve 11.43% year-on-year growth. And, looking ahead, the findings project that the market will hit 748.7 million by 2027.
Drinks industry obsessives
In case you didn’t already know, we’re big drinks industry fans.
Of course, it helps that the likes of William Grant & Sons, Sipsmith, and Global Brands are our client partners. These giants of the industry are responsible for some of the best-loved drinks products in UK fridges – including our favourite RTD cocktails.
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Image credit: Batch & Bottle, Sipsmith, Good Time In, All Shook Up Cocktails, Hooch Lemon Brew, iStock.