Are Alcopops making a comeback in the form of RTDs?

The alcopop is not something that is mentioned regularly within the food and beverage market these days, however research suggests that the alcopop may not have completely disappeared. In fact, alcopops have resurfaced in a new way, fashioned as mixers and premium bottled beverages – fondly known as “ready to drink”, the RTD.

The history of RTDs

The alcopop market surged at the turn of the millennium with younger drinkers giving them a bad name sake. The market was worth £1.3 billion by the early 2000s. This range of new drinks ideas was based on the convenience of pre-mixed drinks, being led by the pioneer brand Two Dogs and Hooch, who started producing alcoholic lemonades. Now, this market has evolved into something new – the RTD, and has enjoyed a renaissance with RTDs being packaged in glass bottles.

What makes and RTD unique?

RTDs are identified as combining the convenience of having pre-mixed drinks, with a sweet taste, such as fruit flavours. These are sold in small bottles around 275ml up to 660ml, meaning that they’re also already portioned into individual servings, which makes them even more convenient. They are aimed specifically at the younger audience of 18-24 year olds, with bright and bold packaging and sweet flavouring adding to the overall fun experience and enjoyable taste.

Revamping the RTD from the alcopop

New brands are keen to distinguish their new RTDs from the old alcopop, focusing on a wide range of products – from the standard bottles to pouches of ready-mixed cocktails. Unlike traditional alcopops, sophisticated RTD brands have created fast growth in this market. Branding has had an impact on the sales of RTDs, bringing a “retro” feel to these modern products, but with a hint of elegance and sophistication as opposed to the alcopop’s reputation for encouraging underage drinking and lower quality.

For the young and the old

Many brands are now not just targeting the younger market, but creating their own take on traditional favourites such as the gin and tonic, and the rum and Coke. The RTD market is now very much for older consumers too, bringing in more fresh, adult flavours including elderflower and strawberry, and dandelion and burdock. The wide variety of flavours attracts new consumers to try something different.

The RTD niche

There is no doubt that the RTD market fills a niche where consumers are able to enjoy the ultimate convenience of perfectly-mixed drinks, without having to mix them. This makes them a favourite for family picnics, festivals, and a range of other occasions. Despite the drop in alcopop sales over a decade ago, the RTD is making a strong comeback in its new revitalised form, with research indicating that RTDs are now becoming part of some consumers’ weekly shop.

If you’re looking for the perfect glass bottles for your RTD brand, take a look at Croxsons’ range of  glass bottles, or give us call today on 020 8337 2945.