The Rise of Ready-to-Drink (RTD) Cocktails

February 02, 2021 | in Industry News

The Rise of Ready-to-Drink (RTD) Cocktails

Ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails are pre-packaged, single-serve, and ready for consumption. As lifestyles increasingly shift toward indulgent experiences at-home, RTD cocktails provide consumers a convenient way to enjoy their favorite alcoholic beverages without visiting a restaurant or bar.  

Global consumption of ready-to-drink (RTD) products grew 43% in 2020

The overflowing options within the hard seltzer category has left consumers seeking an alcoholic beverage somewhere in between sparkling waters and sugary mixes. According to WGSN, “the trend for RTD cocktails has accelerated in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic” and the effects of the health and wellness movement can be seen across the category.

For RTD Cocktails, consumers want:

Topic Image: Increased Authenticity

The wellness movement has encouraged consumers to pay closer attention to the quality of ingredients they consume, and their alcoholic beverages are no different. Smart cocktail brands are adapting their value-position from a portable beverage to a convenient indulgence with authentic ingredients.

Examples of Ready-to-drink products

Packaging Design Cues

  • Clear typography
  • Smart use of white space
  • Neutral or muted color pallets
  • Ingredients featured in the artwork


Topic Image: Convenient Experimentation

Extended time at home without the variety of dining or drinking out has created an increased desire for experimentation. RTD cocktails are an easy way for consumers to try new flavor combinations without the commitment of purchasing the full bottle of alcohol or needing to have mixology know-how. Additionally, many RTD cocktail packages can be conveniently delivered via direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipping models.

More examples of RTD cocktails and boxes'


Packaging Formats

While aluminum cans and bottles have become a category staple, emerging formats in plastic PET bottles provide an alternative lightweight, recyclable, option. Consumers looking to maintain the classic sophistication of a cocktail experience might select a right-sized glass bottle. For the ultimate entertainer, single-serve cocktail pod dispensers offer a premium automated solution. 

For more information on the best packaging solutions for RTD cocktails, email us at


RTD Canned Cocktails: Trends in 2021 | Beverage Dynamics

Canned Cocktails Continue To Grow Exponentially (

Why RTD Cocktail Sales Are Soaring | VinePair

Beverage alcohol in 2020 performs better than expected - IWSR (

How Newer Ready-to-Drink Beverages and Packages are Shaking Up the Adult Beverage Market – Nielsen

comments powered by Disqus

Contact Us To Get Started

TricorBraun’s proven process will guide your packaging decisions from napkin sketch all the way to the retail shelf. Click below to get started.

Request a Quote

Contact a Consultant