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RTD Alcoholic beverages


What is RTD alcoholic beverage?

Responding to the needs of consumers who love good beers, RTD is a product with a delicious taste and excellent quality. It contains a mixture of 2/3 of beer, 20% fruit liqueur and 5% fruit juice. It has less alcohol content than ordinary beers. It is easier to drink in a more significant amount.


Who invented it?

RTD is a product invented in Japan and mainly sold in Asia. In Japan, it’s called Ramune Drink. It was first introduced to the U.S. market in 1978. It became popular quickly because of its low price and delicious fruity taste. Also, the name ‘Malt 40’, which RTD is called today, was coined.

RTD is manufactured by adding fruit liqueur and fruit juice to alcohol, malt extract and carbonated water. The manufacturing process is almost the same as that of regular beer. There are several kinds of RTDs with different tastes, sold in Japan’s department stores. For instance, there are many grapefruit flavours such as ‘Sunrise’ or ‘Murakami Sangria.’ You can enjoy different tastes of each product, just like ordinary beers.

RTD is sold in a bottle that seems to be made from glass, but actually, it’s high-pressure polyethylene terephthalate (PET). If you try to break the bottle with your hands or foot, you won’t be able to break it. That’s why, if you accidentally drop the bottle, there is no danger of glass scattering.


Why is RTD so popular?

Growing demand for low-alcoholic flavoured beverages, premium in taste and quality, and product packaging growth are driving the RTD cocktails market expansion.


How is the market in Japan

RTD has been sold in Japan for 20 years now. In those days, people who liked malt 40 were thought of as ‘people looking for a cheap thrill.’ But recently, more and more various RTDs have come out, and Japanese people have started to drink malt 40 as a refreshing beverage with soda filling machine.

RTD is a bottled cocktail made from malt liquor, carbonated water and a sweet fruit-based liqueur. It has an ABV of 5-8% and is extremely popular in Japan, known as Ramune Drink. [1]


What about other markets

In the U.S., malt liquor has quite a negative image due to its cheapness and potency. It is usually sold at low prices with high alcohol content (7-12%). However, malt liquors are also available in other countries, such as Canada, where they are simply referred to as “malt liquor” or “lager malt.” [2]

RTDs contain large amounts of sugar compared to other alcoholic drinks – usually 25-50%. This makes it a trendy drink with young people. Many Canadian RTDs contain at least 60 grams of sugar in a 375ml bottle, which is the same as or more sugar in soft drinks with a soda filling machine. [3]

RTD’s are usually only available at liquor stores in Canada but not in bars or restaurants. They are also reasonably inexpensive – usually around $4 per bottle. Popular brands include Bacardi Breezer and Smirnoff Ice.

Recently introduced to the market is Bacardi O rum, which has only 7 percent alcohol content but offers a cheaper alternative to Smirnoff Ice at about $3 for a 355ml can. [4]


What percentage of alcohol is in RTD?

Results. Across the 52 bottle shops audited, 150 individual RTD alcohol products were identified, ranging from 4.8% to 7.5% alcohol by volume and from 1.0 to 2.7 standard drinks (S.D.) per unit. [1]


What's the concern?

According to a report released by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, “The risk of engaging in heavy episodic drinking is greatly increased when youth start drinking at a young age and drink frequently.”

“Under 19-years-of-age are not allowed to consume alcoholic beverages, which includes malt liquor drinks. However, young people are often unaware of the content or consequences of these drinks and maybe drinking them more frequently than they realize.”   


What would happen if one drank a lot?

According to Toronto EMS: “When someone new to alcohol drinks too much, it can cause their blood alcohol levels to spike rapidly, which can lead to vomiting, trouble breathing and even death. [6]”


What would be the tax?

Ontario’s proposed budget increases alcohol taxes for all alcoholic products. This includes traditional beer (up 1 cent per litre) and local craft beers (up 2 cents per litre).


What are some prices?

Bacardi Breezer – $4 for 355ml can

Smirnoff Ice – $4 for 355ml can

Red Bull and Vodka 12 for $17.99


Is it a problem?

According to the report by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, “In Canada, in 2007, youth aged 15-24 years were more likely to binge drink if they were male or lived in a higher-income household. [5]”

“The potential harms from malt liquor drinks were reflected in the fact that the volume of calls related to alcohol poisoning and injuries from falls and motor vehicle accidents increased with increasing S.D. (standard drinks) for malt liquor drink exposures. “


So what is the malt liquor drink that people consume?

The report found that among those surveyed, 7.5% of males and 5.0% of females reported consuming some type of malt liquor drink (regular malted beverages, premixed beverages with alcohol, or ready-to-drink) in the past year.

And of those who drank malt liquor drinks, more than a third said they consumed 4 or more S.D.s (standard drinks) per occasion. [5]

“In Ontario, most of these drinks are premixed with alcohol and come in 473 ml cans. Their sweet taste makes them appealing to youth and contributes to the likelihood that young people will consume them in large quantities. [5]”


RTD's alcoholic beverage market share expected to double in the next five years

Since 2018, RTD alcoholic beverages with csd filler have grown faster than any other major beverage category and are expected to significantly outpace the broader alcoholic beverage market over the next five years.

According to the latest data from IWSR’s RTD Strategy Study, their market share in the top RTD market will increase to 8% by 2025, compared to 4% in 2020. The data covers 10 key markets in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S.:Together, these markets account for more than 85 percent of total RTD globally.

RTD beverages include cocktails, complex teas, hard coffees, hard kampong teas, sparkling wines and flavoured alcoholic beverages (FABs).

15% CAGR

IWSR forecasts that RTDs in these markets will grow at a CAGR of approximately +15% from 2020 to 2025, while alcoholic beverages will grow at a CAGR of roughly +1% over the same period, much higher than spirits, wine or beer.

Hard sodas lead the RTD category: Hard sodas are expected to account for half of global RTDs by 2025 (30% share in 2020.) Total volume is expected to grow at a CAGR of 26% from 2020 to 2025. Most of this will come from the U.S., but also from other markets such as Canada (+50% CAGR from 2020-2025), the U.K. (+90%), China (+84%) and Australia (+24%).

“Hard sodas have minimal sales and low awareness outside of the U.S. As awareness grows, we are seeing an increasing willingness to consider trying these products.” Brandy Rand, chief operating officer for the Americas at IWSR Beverage Market Analytics, noted. “It took a few years for hard soda to catch on in the U.S., and outside of the U.S., we’re still in the early stages of this segment.”

More than half (56%) of RTD consumers say that establishing the brand’s premium image is primarily determined by introducing new flavours, followed by association with well-known brands (the value of brand extensions) and the usage of creative packaging.

Taste is also a key factor influencing RTDs purchases, with nearly 70 percent of consumers favouring RTDs. IWSR research also shows that consumers clearly prefer spirits-based RTDs in most markets, which often have high-quality connotations. Of course, malt products are gaining market share, driven by the rise of hard sodas.

IWSR notes that RTDs have proven to be a “valid opportunity” for companies and brands across all beverage market segments.

Brewers and soft drink companies alike have found a particular opportunity in hard sodas, an essential driver of recent growth in the subcategory. Producers of spirits and wine have also benefited their existing brand recognition and equity to enter the RTDs space, from premixed cocktails to hard sodas to sparkling wines and more.

Not only are consumers benefiting from exciting and innovative RTD offerings, but so are global beverage companies,” Rand noted. RTDs have actually captured and profited on more than any other category on the convergence trend in the beverage industry. From water to energy drinks to coffee, many well-known brands have recently ventured into the alcoholic beverage RTDs space, leading to several strategic partnerships between soft drink, beer and spirits companies for successful distribution across multiple stores.”


Where can I find more information about these Information if needed?

At iBottling, we provide more information on carbonated soft drink filling machines through our website. If you have any other questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at [email protected]! We are always looking for better ways to improve the customer experience, so please just let us know if there’s anything else!

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