The COVID-19 pandemic has caused people across the world not only to pay closer attention to their physical health, but also to cherish their nutrition and eating habits. Recent studies claim that alcohol and soda consumption is going out of fashion, as younger generations now represent a higher percentage of the population. The truth is that Generation Alpha will drink less alcoholic and soft drinks, as Millennial parents are schooling them in high-quality food and nutrients.
It goes without saying that the decline in consumption has been influenced by the growing popularity of the health and wellness trend with which we have been so inundated. However, there is one recent trend in the Food and Drink sector that is considered the saviour of the beverage industry: RTDs category.
At PointBleu Design, we are here to give you all the details regarding this trend:
To begin with, let’s first define what RTD stands for. Ready To Drink packaged beverages are those sold in a prepared form, ready for consumption. Examples include non-alcohol products such as RTD tea, coffee or kombucha drinks, as well as canned cocktails or hard seltzers.
RTDs first enjoyed notable success in the early 2000s, when they were positioned as an approachable yet highly sweetened option for partying. We must take this into account as RTDs are now positioned as both healthy and premium. Consumers are seeking complex ways to quench their thirst, ranging from rare or localised botanicals, to unique or artisanal twists on classic cocktails. Hence, it is important to remember the power that positioning has, as RTDs are now considered “better for you”, offering a sophisticated array of flavours and mixes with “healthy” ingredients.
According to a new IWSR Drink Market Analysis report, an increase of +21,8% in the compound annual growth of RTDs will be announced by 2024. Suddenly, even Premium brands are trying to adapt to this category.
That being said, we want to tell you about the key packaging trends of this category:
Designers are seeking to give their products a premium look and feel, by using glass or metal materials. Stylized shapes, closures and labelling are in full swing right now. Developing a strong Visual Identity is a must. Bright, eye-catching colors and simple designs are also of the utmost importance.
Convenience is key in this category. Canned and bottled formats allow consumers to drink complex cocktails at festivals or at the beach with minimal fuss. Millennials and Gen Z consumers are looking for aesthetically pleasing brands and products. The reason behind this is that they want to document and share their cultivated lifestyles on social media. If designers’ efforts hit the mark, these products are much more likely to be photographed and shared online, goviral and reach millions of new potential consumers.
Beverage manufacturers will continue striving to meet consumer demand for more sustainable packaging. A new report by PMMI Business Intelligence states that consumers are looking for beverage products that provide added functionality to their lives, enhance their overall health, and are available in convenient formats. They are also increasingly concerned about the sustainability of beverage packaging, and 89% of the companies interviewed say they want to incorporate more recycled plastic materials in their packaging, with a view to reducing global plastic pollution.
All in all, we strongly recommend RTD brands offer purpose-driven products to their audience. Future consumers will only support brands that align with their values, interests and necessities. Brands must understand their consumers in order to strategically offer products that will meet their interests. In conclusion, the facts suggest that RTD is going to be a huge phenomenon in the near future as brands increase offers of premiumization, convenience and functionality. We strongly believe that this will only happen if companies start listening to their consumers.
Are you Ready To Listen to your customers?
At PointBleu Design, we are looking forward to hearing from you.