Source: Unsplash

By Rob Brown rob_j_a_brown@hotmail.com

Publishing: 20 July 2024

Advertising deadline: 5 July 2024

Submissions deadline: 28 June 2024

Not long ago, hard seltzer was tipped as the next big thing. It prompted a wave of innovation designed to target younger, more health-conscious shoppers. Now efforts appear to be shifting towards more traditional RTDs. One brand has overhauled its branding to downplay the hard seltzer association, while another has ditched hard seltzer for RTD cocktails in brand repositioning. Ellie Goulding’s hard seltzer brand is now playing more heavily in RTDs. Meanwhile, several new players are popping up in the RTD space with the aim to carve out their own niche. So are more traditional RTDs the future? Is there any growth left in hard seltzer? And who is poised to win in this highly competitive environment?

Market picture: Volumes of RTDs and hard seltzers have dipped slightly over the past year. Why is this? What are the top factors influencing the market e.g. cost of living, weather, pricing?

New players: RTDs have been a hotbed of innovation over the past year. Several new brands have come onto the market, alongside innovations. Which have been the most successful innovations and why? What do they have in common?

Established brands: Sales of some big names have taken a tumble over the past year. What has driven this decline? To what extent is it reflective of the wider market picture, and to what extent are these brands facing pressure from challengers?

Hard seltzer: How are the remaining players in hard seltzer faring? Is there any growth left in the market?

Own label: How big is own label in this market? Are the retailers making any inroads and what is the focus of their innovation: hard seltzers or RTDs?

Innovations: We will profile four new products or ranges, ideally ones that have not appeared in The Grocer before. We need launch date, rsp, and a hi-res picture of each.