Rising preference for Ready to Drink cocktails in India

New Delhi, July 28 (IANSlife) As the third largest alcoholic beverage market, India represents one of the most compelling spirits opportunities in the world. Within this, the alcoholic ready-to-drink (RtD) segment is experiencing high growth and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.3 per cent between 2021 and 2026.

Its popularity can be attributed to the convenience it offers, and it is a lower-strength alternative to spirits that are being driven by consumer desire for healthier alternatives but is stymied by low availability, finds a Benori Knowledge report and survey with users.

In a survey with more than 1000 alcohol consumers, Benori Knowledge, a new-age provider of custom research and analytics solutions, finds that the RtD category has sparked mass appeal, with 78 per cent of survey respondents reporting having consumed the pre-mixed beverages. Nearly 55 per cent say they prefer RtDs over spirits owing to their lower alcohol strength which makes it the ideal beverage to consume in social settings. Contrary to popular perception, 79 per cent of its consumers are male and 21 per cent are female. Interestingly, among the 22 per cent of non-drinkers, there is a high awareness of RtD cocktails and they also expressed their desire to try them in the future. Awareness of RtD cocktails is primarily driven by word of mouth for most. 66 per cent of survey respondents say that they learnt about it from friends and family, while 19 per cent say they heard about them from social media.

84 per cent of the men surveyed confirmed drinking an RtD cocktail at least once a week while the same frequency was confirmed by 61 per cent of the women.

However, survey respondents cite the challenges of low availability – 65 per cent and limited variety – 35 per cent in their ability to get their hands on these beverages.

Unlike the usual consumer buying behaviour in India, price is given the least amount of consideration when purchasing RtDs. Benori’s research finds that brand image, taste and flavour and the percentage of alcohol (5 per cent or less is preferred) are the key factors that influence and drive purchase in this category.

The report also highlights the most popular brands in this category. Bacardi emerges as the most popular brand in preference, and consumption and enjoys high awareness, followed by Magic Moments Electra and Bombay Sapphire Gin & Tonic.

Ashish Gupta, Co-founder and CEO of Benori said, “Indian consumers today are ready to experiment and go beyond traditional alcoholic beverages and the RtD category especially is becoming quite popular across the board. Among young drinkers, there are those who are just beginning to consume alcohol and prefer the lower alcohol content and the variety in flavours of RtD over beer, while there are others that are more seasoned yet willing to explore and try new things. Among older drinkers, many choose RtDs over traditional drinks for a convenient drinking experience or when they are looking for beverages to enjoy casually and not consume hard liquor. The popularity of RtDs clearly demonstrates a need for low-alcohol beverages that offer innovative products and flavours and are readily available. Alcohol companies would benefit tremendously by riding on this trend.”

(IANSlife can be contacted at ianslife@ians.in)

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