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The Canned Cocktail Trend: Do you have ready to drink cocktails ready to serve?

Canned cocktails have become the buzz in the beverage industry. With consumers looking for more diversity in their beverage offerings, ready to drink (RTD) cocktails are taking the scene by storm. Hard seltzers paved the way, but pre-mixed canned cocktails are now one of the fastest growing beverage trends in America. We want to share how this beverage category can benefit both bartenders and bar operators.

 

The ready to drink category isn’t new

 

Ready to drink cocktails have been on the market for decades, but not a lot of consumers knew about them. It took the COVID-19 pandemic to help them skyrocket to fame. DISCUS President and CEO Chris Swonger, stated,

“U.S. consumers gravitated toward RTDs as a convenient way to enjoy their favorite cocktail at home during the height of the pandemic, and demand and preference for spirits based RTDs have continued to grow at a steady rate."

In the past few years, premade spirits-based RTD suppliers increased their revenue by 42%. This period aligns with the height of the pandemic lockdowns, which caused an increase in demand for alcoholic beverages. According to IRI, in 2021, “premixed cocktails saw 42% year-over-year revenue growth and reached $1.6 billion, making it the fastest-growing spirits segment, according to the Distilled Spirits Council.”

 

Ready to drink cocktails are versatile

 

Negronis, martinis, spritzes, mixed drinks: the category is diverse and shows no sign of slowing down. Industry insiders believe the category will continue to grow as many RTD brands now appearing on the market are owned by talented bartenders who know what consumers want. Different from malt beverages, RTD cocktails attract a younger demographic that doesn’t narrowly define themselves as a “craft beer enthusiast” or “wine drinker.” This consumer enjoys the appeal of a fun and unique product that allows them to explore different flavors, which often comes at a higher price point.

 

The ready to drink trend is growing in the bar and restaurant space

 

Due to high demand, hard seltzers have staked their claim in the bar and restaurant industry for the last few years. This presence paved the way for ready to drink cocktails to gain their own popularity, currently making up 19.1% of products found in bar and restaurant inventory.

Convenience of RTD cocktails is one of the key benefits for operators offering a RTD cocktail program. While many patrons still prefer the experience of a handcrafted cocktail, and enjoy watching a bartender artfully craft their beverage, any operation experiencing labor shortages, or high-volume establishments needing to increase their speed of service should consider the appeal of offering RTD cocktails. Having ready to drink cocktails on the menu can sway consumers away from ordering their traditional go to (such as a lower cost beer). It has been proven that consumers are willing to pay double for the same serving size in an RTD, increasing both revenue and throughput.

The addition of offering an RTD cocktail program brings the challenge of needing increased storage capacity. Storage space in any operation comes at a premium. It is important to invest in ample storage and refrigeration units that can hold high quantities of stock without taking up too much space. Perlick offers bottle coolers that range in size from two to eight feet, with the largest model capable of storing a maximum capacity of 41 cases (12 cans per case) of canned RTD cocktails. All Perlick bottle coolers models are available in refrigerator (34°F-40°F), low temp (28°F-34°F), or wine temp (45°F-60°F), depending on the need. The low temperature bottle cooler models are the perfect option for storing cold alcoholic beverages like ready to drink cocktails, holding at approximately 30°F. All Perlick bottle coolers feature 24" front to back dimensions, matching the traditional depth of underbar equipment. Therefore, these units line up perfectly with any bar design and are immediately ready for service. The only thing required for installation is an outlet; these units are plug and play!

Perlick 48" Bottle Cooler Heavy duty construction - stainless steel interior & top

 

The ready to drink cocktail market is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.4% from 2022 to 2030, reaching $2.43 billion USD by 2030. Ready to drink cocktails are here to stay, and with that comes increased revenue, throughput, and storage capacity. If you are interested in learning more about how Perlick bottle coolers can help increase your operation’s bottom line, please email us at sales@perlick.com

 

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