Futures Feed

How is the drinks industry developing alternative drinks?

Alternative Tipples

The accessibility of premixed cocktails has pushed the Ready-To-Drink category into a boom, challenging previous drinking spaces, occasions and formats as we see brands diversify a spectrum of RTD drinking purposes. The industry is adapting to new expectations of quality, taste and health, whilst balancing a sense of convenience and functionality.

In this month’s Futures feed - Alternative Tipples - we explore how the ready-to-drink category is being transformed from a fast-casual drinking culture into a new generation of sophisticated drinking occasions and rituals. Notable newcomers in this space include Morris Kitchen who are creating carefully crafted mixers and Aurora Elixirs who are blending aperitifs with hemp and cannabis.

Alternative Tipples explores four emerging themes of change, which are brought to life with key insights, best-in-class brand examples and opportunity areas for brands looking to capitalise on the emerging changes in this sector.

Four key themes of Change

1. Off-the-shelf

The RTD market is being diversified in the mainstream with a new sense of craft, premiumisation and quality that opens up a new world of opportunities for the category

2. Non-alcoholic moments

As people are drinking less by volume and increasingly seek lower ABV, the opportunity is ripe for desirable, convenient and sophisticated alcohol-free RTD options

3. New drinking occasions

Brands are beginning to develop products that invent new drinking rituals and experiences that savour the moment and that increase connection and meaningful social interactions

4. Reimagined formats

Inspired by individual awareness, environmental concern and drinking occasions, a new generation of concepts are redefining the function, format and purpose of RTD packaging

What is the opportunity in this space?

- As this category becomes increasingly crowded, brands need to recognise the importance of standing out by differentiating their offering through expression, flavour and new formats of delivery.

- Design new drinking RTD moments beyond the can and create sensorial and indulgent drinking rituals that are worth savouring.

- Balance convenience and mixology to tailor products to more personalised and flexible drinking occasions.

If you would like to download the full report, hear more of our thinking on Alternative Tipples or if you would like some tailored thought starters for you and your company, please get in touch below.

Image credits from top to bottom of the page: Whisky Me whisky subscription service; Morris Kitchen Mixers; Aurora Elixirs.

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