IF there’s one drinks category that could be thought of as appealing specially to young adults it’s probably ready-to-drink (RTD) products.
But we can see that the category regularly goes through major trend changes and that was shown in clear detail last month when we published our exclusive Nielsen Scottish off-trade drinks category charts.
More than any other table the RTD chart showed great volatility – with some brands soaring, some showing significant growth and others showing major declines.
The biggest winner was the alcoholic energy drink Dragon Soop, which was recorded by Nielsen as more than doubling its sales in Scottish off-trade in the year to early January 2016 and zooming into second place in the category.
The brand’s website gives some indication of what brand owner Corinthian Brands sees as its appeal.
“Cocktails combining vodka, or herbal liqueur, with caffeinated energy drinks have long been popular in clubs, pubs and bars. Dragon Soop takes this informal, self mixed innovation and turns it into a caffeinated alcoholic cocktail in a chillable can, ready mixed and ready to drink,” it says.
• Category leader WKD also did well last year. From a very high base it saw sales rise by just under 2% to reach almost £6.4m in Scottish off-trade. And the brand says it did very much better than that in impulse outlets where it showed double digit growth. But it also says it’s determined to stay relevant to a demanding audience, and brand owner SHS Drinks conducted in-depth research into the changing lifestyles of 18 to 24 year-olds.
Debs Carter, marketing director – alcohol at SHS Drinks said: “Young people are living with their parents longer and need to assert their maturity and independence in other areas of their lives. They are motivated to be mature and want to be taken seriously.”
The findings resulted in SHS Drinks launching WKD Blush in February. The 4% ABV, blush-style liquid has been created to attract a new wave of RTD consumers.
Carter says retailers should offer a variety of WKD packs to suit different occasions.
“Our research shows that ‘nights in’ are such significant and regular occasions for this age group – almost half of WKD consumers meet up at least once a week with friends for a night in.”
• Global Brands says Hooch Lemon Brew’s social media campaign Full on Refreshment has had a fantastic response. Videos, images and competitions gained the Facebook page over 30,000 likes in five months. Hooch will be launching another social media campaign soon.
• Ahead of summer, Malibu has introduced a new flavour in its pre-mixed can range.
The new mix of strawberry and kiwi, with Malibu Coconut Rum was released in February, it replaces Mango and joins Malibu mixes with Pineapple, Cola, and Diet Cola.