USA: alcoholic beverages market trends
The RTD (Ready-to-Drink) market in the United States is constantly evolving, with notable growth, but moderating due to changing consumer preferences and product innovation.
Over the past decade, the U.S. ready-to-drink (RTD) beverage market has seen considerable growth, accounting for nearly 12% of the total alcoholic beverage market, surpassing the U.S. wine market.
Growth has been driven primarily by hard seltzers, but post-pandemic, the RTD category is undergoing a transformation. The RTD market in the United States is expected to grow only +1% annually between 2022 and 2027, according to IWSR.
IWRS has identified these key changes:
- Premiumization. The RTD category saw an annual increase in average price per serving in 2022, in part due to the expansion of alcohol-based cocktails/long drinks.
- Hard Seltzer Slowdown. Hard seltzers experienced a decline in volume in 2022, primarily due to the decline of malt-based hard seltzers and competition from rival segments such as long cocktails.
- Taste Innovation. Taste remains an important driver for consumers, with 49% citing it as their primary motivation for purchasing. Hard seltzer flavors are evolving rapidly, ranging from fruit to tea, from cocktails/sodas to fruit smoothies.
- Cross-category partnerships. Collaborations between alcoholic beverage companies and mixer manufacturers are becoming common, creating new distribution opportunities in the market.
These changes reflect the evolving dynamics of the RTD beverage market in the United States.
The dynamism of the canned drinks sector is also confirmed by the words of Jacopo Cassoli, general manager of Ecocap’s who, after his recent business trip to the United States, comments:
«The forecasts for the future of the sector are positive; in the USA there is a buzzing market that follows the trends linked to new consumption opportunities. This is an evolving market area, ready to welcome both new types of hard seltzer and canned wine, which is increasingly appreciated by consumers. For us at Ecocap’s» – continues Jacopo Cassoli – interesting and profitable contacts have been made with companies that operate in this area. The segment linked to CBD (or cannabidiol)-based drinks should also be monitored, as well as the much larger beer segment. Although the American market is experiencing a decline in demand for craft beers, important brands or those included in structured corporate contexts such as multinationals are resisting. And for us at Ecocap’s the canned beer market in general continues to be a priority reference horizon».