Top 8 biggest-selling RTD brandsBy Melita Kiely
Convenience is key when it comes to drinks, and consumers have shown a strong penchant for ready-to-drink (RTD) options – particularly since the start of the pandemic. But which are the world’s biggest-selling pre-mixed beverages?
With lockdowns pushing drinking occasions outdoors, RTDs capitalised on their moment in the spotlight, building on an existing pre-pandemic fanbase.
From 2020 to 2021, RTDs saw volume sales rise by 11.6% globally from 686.6 million to 766.3m cases, according to data from Euromonitor International.
Hard seltzers – alcoholic sparkling waters – have given the category a boost, particularly in the US where sales have skyrocketed in recent years.
After crowning Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails the RTD Brand Champion 2022, we thought we’d take a closer look at the performance of the million-case-selling section of the category.
Scroll down to read more about eight of the biggest-selling RTD brands.
8. Campari Soda
% change: 33.3%
Place last year: 6
Pre-pandemic, sales of Campari Soda were relatively stagnant year on year. The impact of Covid-19 caused a drop in volume sales in 2020, but the brand came back with a bang in 2021 to surpass its 2019 volume.
With its conical bottle shape, the 10% ABV pre-mixed aperitif was created in 1932 and is primarily sold in the Italian market.
Campari Soda owner Campari Group celebrated ‘strong’ double-digit growth in 2021, compared with both its 2020 and 2019 performances.
7. Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails
% change: 29.8%
Place last year: 5
Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails keeps going from strength to strength. The brand has enjoyed year-on-year growth for the past five years, and will top 3m cases in 2022 if it can continue this trajectory.
Owned by Brown-Forman, the range features eight flavours: Black Jack Cola, Cherry Limeade, Berry Punch, Downhome Punch, Lynchburg Lemonade, Watermelon Punch, Southern Peach and Southern Citrus.
6. Jack Daniel’s RTDs (excluding Cola and Country Cocktails)
% change: 8.0%
Place last year: N/A
Taking Brown-Forman’s Jack Daniel’s & Cola, and Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails brands out of the mix, and its collective JD pre-mixed portfolio still surpasses the million-case mark.
In 2021, this part of brand’s stable soared by 8.0% to hit 3.23m cases.
Other Jack Daniel’s pre-mixed variants include Jack Daniel’s Honey & Lemonade, and Jack Daniel’s Apple Fizz.
5. Jack Daniel’s & Cola
% change: 11.0%
Place last year: 4
JD & Coke is a classic serve, well-known and loved around the world. The brand’s pre-mixed option, Jack Daniel’s & Cola, had a solid 2021, growing by 11.0% to reach 6.9m cases.
Brown-Forman CEO Lawson Whiting said the whiskey-based RTD was created to “expand occasions where Jack could be enjoyed”.
Net sales for Brown-Forman soared by 17% in the company’s 2022 fiscal year, led by the resurgence of Jack Daniel’s whiskey.
4. New Mix
% change: -8.5%
Place last year: 3
Brown-Forman’s New Mix RTD was unable to sustain the surge in volume sales it experienced in 2020. The brand reported an 8.5% decline in 2021, from 8.0m cases to 7.4m.
New Mix is a Tequila-based serve, and first launched in Mexico more than 20 years ago. The RTD range offers classic cocktails, such as the Paloma, in pre-mixed formats using El Jimador Tequila.
3. -190oC Strong Zero
% change: -9.4%
Place last year: 2
After four years of sustained growth, Suntory Spirits-owned -190oC Strong Zero tumbled by 9.4% in 2021 to 24.8m cases. The drop came after four years of year-on-year growth.
The range is largely consumed in Japan, consisting of a selection of Highball-style drinks. The name derives from the production technique used to make the RTD, whereby fruits are frozen at -190oC and crushed into a powder, which is used to make the liquid.
2. Part Time Rangers
% change: 6.5%
Place last year: N/A
RTD producer Part Time Rangers joined the Brown-Forman stable in October 2020. Hailing from New Zealand, the range comprises spirits-based, RTD products made with sparkling water and ‘natural’ fruit flavourings.
The brand enjoyed solid growth in 2021, with volume sales up by 6.5% to reach 45.6m cases.
The range of products includes: Lime Vodka, Passionfruit Apple Vodka, Apple Lime Rum, Strawberry Raspberry Gin, Ginger Lime Whiskey, and Apple Lemon Gin. Each expression is canned at 6% ABV.
1. White Claw Hard Seltzer
% change: 11.1%
Place last year: 1
While White Claw’s volume growth significantly slowed in 2021 – the brand rose by 139.7% in the year prior – it was still able to deliver a solid double-digit increase. At 65.0m cases, growing from a large volume base is testament to the brand’s ongoing pursuit for global success.
The Mark Anthony Brands-owned RTD, which was the 2021 Supreme Brand Champion, made a number of moves last year – including partnering with the Gorillas delivery app.
This year, White Claw has already invested in several marketing campaigns to continue its growth trajectory. In May this year, the brand backed UK festivals with a £4 million (US$5m) marketing push. This followed new hard seltzers that came to market in March 2022.