Who Is Buying All Those Hard Seltzers? These Are The Key Demographics Of Canned Cocktails

Food & Drink

Over the last few years, ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails have completely commandeered the drink space, changing preferred formats and welcoming in a new renaissance of convenient-driven drinking trends.

But who is buying all that White Claw? Who is stocking their fridge with canned wines?

New research from CGA’s On Premise User Survey shows that the average RTD drinker is young — only 16% of drinkers of the category are above the age of 55. They’re a little wealthier than the average American, with an average annual salary of $83,000. And, they dine out often — 75% of RTD consumers go for dinner once a week.

Both men and women are shown to enjoy the category, though figures show that women (52%) prefer RTDs every so slightly more than men (48%).

Ready-to-drink beverages are most tied to the off-premise channel, including liquor stores, bodegas, and the like, though the on-premise sector (restaurants, bars, and other places you drink in situ) shows a lot of potential for the category. On-premise channels are a ‘critical avenue for adventurous consumers seeking to engage with the category,’ the report states.

CGA’s research notes that 17% of American drinkers have consumed RTD beverages in bars, pubs, and restaurants in the last three months. That said, only one out of five surveyed look to bar staff to advise them on RTDs, compared to over a quarter of drinkers who rely on friends’ recommendations.

Almost fifty percent of RTD consumers crack cans with friends, while a third reach for a canned drink when they’re trying to unwind on their own. One quarter of consumers sip canned seltzers while watching sports or as an after-work drink. (25% of drinkers surveyed even serve RTDs during romantic occasions.)

CGA by NIQ works with brand owners, beverage suppliers, government entities, on-premise channels and wholesalers to provide measurements and insight son the on-premise experience.

The biggest draw to RTD beverages is convenience — you can chill down a can, crack it open, and drink it wherever happy hour takes you. Another main driver is value —- one third of drinkers choose their cans based on value proposition, while 25% also consider special offers and discounts.

Another big consideration: variety of flavors offered. 28% of drinkers iterate the importance of having a range of options for whatever their mood or preferences.

Looking at spirit break-down, vodka is the most popular, accounting for 70% of purchases, followed by tequila, with 50% of RTD consumers looking for agave-based drinks.

One surprising insight — sugar, calories, and other health considerations aren’t high on drinkers’ list of things to look for. 20% of individuals look at alcohol content, but a tiny minority of those surveyed considered calories at all.

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