Ready-To-Drink Cocktails vs. Hard Seltzers: Choose your fighter

The Juice

Ready-To-Drink Cocktails vs. Hard Seltzers: Choose your fighter

Alright, we thought it was about time to address the hard seltzer frenzy we have been seeing the past few years. Ever since their introduction into the market around 2013, hard seltzers have been the summertime (and year-round) choice of many young drinkers. From White Claws to Bud Light Seltzers, brands are either creating their own new twist on this millennial favorite or reinventing themselves to become a part of this ever-growing market.

Ready-To-Drink cocktails, on the other hand, have been around since the nineties, and are currently enjoying soaring success in numerous global markets. The global ready to drink cocktails market size is anticipated to reach USD 1.63 billion by 2027, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. Pretty impressive. RTD cocktails have been killing the stay-at-home drinking game and millennials in particular are the perfect demographic. 

If you’re wondering why hard seltzers and RTD cocktails are so millennial friendly, look no further. Let’s find out!

Hard Seltzers:

Hard Seltzers mega-growth can definitely be attributed to one big thing: health. This makes them the perfect choice for the health conscious millennial market.

  • Hard seltzers are often chosen as a lighter alternative to beer– Most hard seltzers on the market come in at about 5% to 6% ABV, which is very similar to your average beer. The difference? The calories. If you’re a fan of lighter beers, odds are your calorie intake won’t be that different, but an IPA usually has twice the calories of a typical hard seltzer.
  • Low-ABV hard seltzers are also proving popular– Lower alcohol content seltzers are lower in calories as well. Drinkers are saying they wanted something that would help them pace their drinking and stay in control. This low-proof offering seems like the best of both worlds!
  • Dietary restrictions– Consumer aversion to wheat, barley and gluten has motivated producers to look for alternative alcohol sources, and in some cases, move away from malt entirely. Fermented cane sugar is the solution.
  • Flavors!– This one’s pretty obvious: lots of different brands, lots of different flavors. It feels like every week there’s a new seltzer on the market. Millennials love trying new things, so this is pretty much a win, win. 

RTD Cocktails:

Ready-To-Drink cocktails have been reborn thanks to the pandemic. With the move towards drinking at home the past year, millennials adapted like never before!

  • The drinks are on trend– since RTD cocktails are so popular right now, it’s safe to say it’s not because what they are offering is outdated. From spicy Margaritas to canned Bloody’s and pink G &T’s, ready-to-drink cocktails have everything you want if you like took keep your drinks classic or like to try something fresh and new.
  • Low-carb, low-sugar– Many RTD cocktail companies are marketing their beverages as zero sugar, zero gluten and zero carbs, advertising that they are  actually better for drinkers.
  • Distilleries are joining in– Some distilleries have been seeing the huge jump in RTD popularity and are joining in! Craft distilleries are launching spirit-based RTDs made with their own signature gin or vodka, often with the addition of localised ingredients or botanicals. These releases tap into a bigger trend of twists on classic drinks with unusual or exotic ingredients.
  • Easily obtainable and convenient–RTDs are everywhere. From the grocery store to the liquor store, you won’t have to go out of your way to pick up a pack of these if you’re on the market for them.
  • PRICE!– When you can get four RTD cocktails for $12, aka the price of one drink at a bar, you don’t really have to say much more than that to a millennial.

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