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Insight of the Day: RTDs go on tap as popularity continues to grow

Here's a breakdown of the article "RTDs go on tap as popularity continues to grow", focusing on the key trends and insights for the Ready-to-Drink (RTD) beverage market:

Why RTDs are Popular

  • Innovation: Consumers seek new flavors and experiences. Current trends include higher ABV, nostalgic options, Asian-inspired drinks, and healthier choices.

  • Adapting to Demographics: RTDs are no longer just for younger drinkers; the category is appealing to a wider age range.

  • Premiumization: Consumers are interested in unique and high-quality RTD offerings.

Lion's RTD Strategy

  • Strong Portfolio: Lion has successful RTD brands like White Claw and is open to expanding.

  • Leveraging Japanese Trends: The popularity of Japanese culture in Australia made Kirin Hyoketsu Lemon a good fit for the market.

  • Flavor Focus: Lemon is a classic refreshing flavor, but consumers are enjoying new options like peach and pineapple.

The Appeal of Lemon

  • Spirit base:  Vodka remains the top choice, but other bases are gaining popularity.

  • Refreshment:  Lemon is associated with refreshment, offering a desirable flavor profile.

  • Differentiation:  Kirin Hyoketsu Lemon's natural lemon juice sets it apart from artificial-tasting competitors.

RTD Production Challenges

  • Speed to Market  With increased competition, bringing new products to market quickly is crucial.

  • Innovation = More Products:  Constant innovation leads to production complexities.

  • Agility and Flexibility:  Being prepared for quick market shifts is essential for success.

RTDs on Tap

  • Consumer Demand:  Consumers are increasingly interested in on-tap RTD options.

  • Venue Appeal:  Venues want to offer alternatives to standard beer choices.

  • Sustainability:  On-tap is seen as a more sustainable option with less packaging.

The Future of RTDs

  • Continued Growth:  The category shows no signs of slowing down.

  • Importance of Innovation:  Success relies on core offerings and exciting limited-edition flavors to meet changing consumer tastes.

  • Exotic Flavors:  New and unusual flavors will continue to emerge.

  • Key Implications for Marketers: Additional Considerations:

  • Target Evolving Demographics: The "typical" consumer profile is changing. Both confectionery and RTD brands need to recognize that:

  • Age is less of a defining factor in preferences. Appealing to a broader age range is important.

  • Income levels create a need for options. Premiumization for some and cost-conscious choices for others will be vital.

  • Flavor Innovation is Essential:  Consumers are adventurous!

  • Offer unusual and exciting flavor experiences along with familiar favorites.

  • Consider collaborations with other categories (bakery, desserts) for inspiration.

  • Tap into nostalgia with new twists on classics.

  • Prioritize Health and Wellness (to an extent):

  • The desire for healthier options is real, especially in RTDs. Balance this with indulgence.

  • Functional ingredients and clear health claims can be powerful selling points.

  • Region matters: Consumers in some markets are less focused on this attribute.

  • Build Trust on Social Media:

  • Utilize social platforms for showcasing innovation and engaging with customers.

  • Combat misinformation with transparency, authenticity, and credible partnerships (influencers, nutritionists).

  • Emphasize Sustainability:

  • Consumers care about ethical sourcing and eco-friendly practices in both confectionery and RTDs.

  • Highlight your brand's commitment in marketing messaging and on packaging.

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