Not anymore. Sales of alcoholic RTDs are on the up. The category is growing faster than beer, wine, cider and spirits, and this growth is expected to continue for the next 6-7 years. This is, in part, driven by a change in our nation’s drinking habits. As we’re making a move towards drinking less, we’re likely looking for smaller serves, vs. committing to a whole bottle (just me?).
If we look to parallels in other categories that are undergoing a ‘moderation revolution’, aka confectionary, we see that consumers are happy to spend more, on something that feels more special, and more premium.
And indeed, we are seeing a premiumisation in the category. VKs, WKDs and Smirnoff Ices are becoming less relevant, and have been overtaken by offerings from Gordon’s, Pimms and Jack Daniels.
However, this premiumisation is rarely reflected in what we see on shelf. Generally, the design brief seems to be “how can we translate our brand assets into a ‘sophisticated’ slimline can, and deliver a little more fun”. Cue a relatively undifferentiated market, with very established category codes likes embellishments, crests etc.