"Malt-based RTDs dominate the US RTD market with a 91% share by volume. However, spirit-based RTDs are increasingly entering the landscape – in fact, spirit-based RTDs in the US grew by 53% in 2021, around double the growth of the wine- and malt-based categories.

"By 2025, spirit-based RTDs are expected to grow at a CAGR of 33% in volume in the US, and many producers and distributors are leveraging the opportunity," says Brandy Rand, COO of Americas at IWSR. "Some are exploring the spirit-based RTD space for the first time, and others are expanding their existing portfolios."

The growth of spirit-based RTDs in the US has been partly linked to flavor options. The flavor is consumers' primary purchase driver for RTD selection, and spirit-based RTDs enjoy the advantage of being available in a spectrum of familiar cocktails flavors and taste profiles. One example is Cutwater Canned Cocktails, whose range includes four flavored Margaritas, a White Russian, and a Mojito, among other well-known drinks. Likewise, the Tip Top Proper Cocktails range consists of a Negroni and an Old Fashioned in a can.

The alcohol base is also a purchase driver. A large majority of consumers in the US say they perceive a spirit-based RTD to be of higher quality. As the category matures and buyers become more knowledgeable, the preference for spirits as a base will likely strengthen.

Among the rising number of spirit-based RTD products, vodka, and tequila bases are dominant, accounting for more than 50% of new spirit-based RTD launches between 2019 and the first half of 2021, according to IWSR data."


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