The Hard Seltzer Revolution: What’s Driving the Ready to Drink Boom

Over the last year, it’s been nearly impossible to ignore the rising popularity of canned hard seltzers.

In the US, they went from being a hot commodity to the hottest drink trend since craft beer. Not only are they a popular item to stock on shelves or the endcaps of aisles, but they are also an incredibly popular subject of conversation. Ask any American millennial, and you’ll be sure to get a raving review of these spiked fizzy drinks.

“Ready-to-drink” beverages

Let’s start by defining what items meet the category criteria of “ready-to-drink” (RTD). RTD beverages are, fundamentally, drinks that are pre-mixed and ready to be enjoyed without additional preparation. There has been a boom in RTD sales in the past year, but despite the ready-to-drink beverage category’s recent success, alcohol consumption in the United States has actually declined for the third year running.

Who’s behind the “ready-to-drink” trend?

When it comes to the “who” behind the tribes boosting the RTD category to new heights, look no further than yours truly. But seriously, while millennials like myself are enjoying can after can of refreshing spiked bubbles, there are distinct differences between groups, their party styles, and what draws them to drink hard seltzers. For instance, if you compare the “#NoLaws Mid-Twenties Parties” with the “Classy Indulgers” you’ll find men and women, of different ages, who share different moments to enjoy their beverage. From the #NoLaws house party preferences to the “indoor or outdoor, as long as it’s unexpected” vibe of the Classy Indulgers, the RTD category proves that setting doesn’t matter if you’re ready-to-drink. These are only two of the tribes featured in the report.

Want more?… Get the full report

Did this article whet your appetite for more RTD insights? That’s great because you can get your hands on the latest RTD trends research today! The full 60-page report produced by expert researchers in the adult beverages industry features deep-dive analytics and insights including:

  • List of the top-performing brands within these drivers and how they’re positioned
  • Identification and details of the digital tribes shaping the trend, including informative descriptions of each
  • Practical lessons and tips from the RTD boom for application to other categories

daylighting at @linkfluence. previously @sparkcentral @shyp, @motionloft. interested in other non-work things sometimes, too.