Exploring The Trend of Ready-to-Drink In South Africa

he conduct of alcoholic beverage consumption in South Africa is changing. The popularity of “canned cocktails” is on the rise. These ready-to-drink options appeal to a broad market segment, making them an exciting addition to the offerings of retail liquor licence holders across the country. 

This change in consumer preferences introduces new challenges and opportunities for retailers across the country. Let us take a closer look at this ongoing trend.

What Comprises the Ready-To-Drink Sector?

The strong consumer pull towards the ready-to-drink market has prompted producers to broaden their product ranges. From a simple cocktail in a can to ready-mixed spirits and chasers, these categories make up this market sector:

  • Alcoholic: Pre-mixed drinks like gin and tonic or brandy and coke, wine coolers, aperitif spritzers, seltzers, malt-based beverages and cocktails.
  • Non-alcoholic: Zero or low alcohol options, including mocktails, coolers, spritzers and seltzers. 
  • Caffeine: Producers have enthusiastically embraced the trend of high-caffeine alcoholic beverages, offering various flavours and formulations.
  • Fruits: Popular fruit juices and drinks with the addition of alcohol—essentially ready-to-drink fruit punch.
  • Low sugar: Just as soft drink manufacturers offer low or zero-sugar options, the manufacturers of ready-to-drink beverages have followed suit. These beverages are generally marketed to the health conscious.  

Cashing in on the Booming Ready-To Drink Market

Research from the IWSR shows the consumption of ready-to-drink products continues to rise on a global scale, outstripping the growth in beer consumption. The interesting thing about this trend is that beer, cider and spirit drinkers collectively enjoy these convenient drink options. 

It is predicted that ready-to-drink beverages will account for 8% of total alcohol consumption in South Africa by 2025, set to double the 4% consumption in 2020.

Why are These Drinks so Popular?

Ready-to-drink beverages are convenient and diverse, appealing to a wide range of consumers. These beverages provide a hassle-free drinking experience without the need for mixing or measuring ingredients. They are ready to be enjoyed straight from the bottle or can, making them the go-to option for on-the-go consumption or social activities.

Consumers can try different options without needing to purchase specialised products or equipment. Manufacturers have cleverly created “premium” versions to appeal to a more sophisticated market. Alcohol retailers, outlets and restaurants need to be well-stocked with a wide variety of these popular products to keep their customers happy.

Retail liquor licence holders must stay on trend to adapt to a changing market. Contact Leon Slotow Associates for assistance with all aspects of liquor licence applications and renewals. Our expert team ensures a smooth process with positive outcomes. 

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