Ready to rock

Achieving impressive growth during the past 52 weeks, spirit ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages have been driving category growth at +57% value MAT. With that in mind, it’s worth checking out the different brands and ranges available to ensure you don’t disappoint customers on the hunt for no-fuss premium refreshment, cold from the can. Gillian Hamill reports


Brand Central

23 August 2021

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It’s an exciting time for the ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages sector, which is currently evolving to include a wider array of more experimental and sophisticated offerings. According to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis,from flavour to function, the RTD category, including hard seltzers, is growing as consumer demand for convenience is rising at an ever-increasing pace.

“Driven by factors such as wellness, cocktail culture, quality ingredients, premiumization, daytime and outdoor consumption, RTDs have evolved to capture key consumption trends,” the IWSR states.

“While currently the top three markets make up over 70% of global RTD volumes, emerging markets are quickly scaling up to keep pace as younger generations demand on-the-go products that don’t compromise on taste,” the analyst adds.

Ideal for Gen Z

Beth Bloom, associate director of food and drink at Mintel, is also positive about the development of RTDs. “The category, which includes FMBs (flavoured malt beverages), prepared spirits-based cocktails, and wine coolers has seen recent strong innovation, moving it further away from the cloying alcopop realm and toward a more acceptable option that offers versatile flavours and formats for a wider array of occasions,” she says. Other options included within the category include hard coffeeshard teas, and hard kombuchas – so there is certainly plenty of choice on offer, including products which are ideal for ‘Generation Z’ health-conscious consumers, who want something that fits in with their healthy lifestyles and focus on wellness.

Writing in Food & Wine, Mike Pomranz took a closer look at the IWSR data and its prediction that in the US market, hard seltzers and other ready-to-drink beverages will actually surpass wine by the end of this year by volume terms.

Growth during pandemic

According to the IWSR data: “Not only did RTDs post double-digit global growth in 2020 (+26.4%), it was the only beverage alcohol category to grow at all during the Covid crisis, resonating with consumers across all demographics, and driven by the trend for convenience, refreshment, and flavour.” The report also states that near identical global growth is expected for 2021.

Mike Pomranz adds the interesting observation that in the US market, while brewers across the country have been forced to shift gears to hard seltzers to keep up with consumers’ rapidly changing tastes, winemakers may now be forced to do the same.

“Given the growth of this trend and the need to stay relevant, innovation within the wine industry is starting to quicken pace in regard to non-traditional wine options,” says Brandy Rand, COO of the Americas at IWSR.

“Several winemakers have already invested in the ready-to-drink space,” he adds, with the introduction of options such as wine spritzers. “While there are some positive growth trends within the traditional wine segment, for many owners, having brand extensions that meet these changing consumer needs is a smart marketing strategy.”

Premium at-home experience

In Ireland, at a time when some consumers are still cautious about entering bars and others are not yet fully vaccinated, there is a clear demand for convenient cocktail at-home options that involve no fuss but still deliver a premium, luxury experience. In fact, recent data shows the growth of the RTD category in Ireland has exploded over the last 52 weeks with spirit RTDs driving the growth at +57% value MAT.

Over the next few pages, we highlight some of the innovative new choices that are making a splash in this growing sector.

Scaling the heights!

Seven Summits is Ireland’s first premium, naturally produced hard seltzer. Initially available in three flavours, the range is naturally brewed providing a unique difference to other hard seltzers available today.

Produced in association with the Whitewater Brewing Company, one of Ireland’s leading craft breweries, Seven Summits draws inspiration, and its pure water, from the breath-taking seven summits of the Mourne Mountains. Known widely as an adventure destination and for its natural beauty, Seven Summits draws on this inspiration and is created with natural ingredients offering a unique and refreshing flavour.

The range is naturally brewed, not blended like many hard seltzers. Seven Summits is produced in small batches using hand crafted alcohol with natural flavourings and sparkle added through a natural brewing process. The result is a premium hard seltzer that is unique on the island of Ireland.

Seven Summits is being introduced in three flavours: Wild Berry, Lemon and Mango and is now available nationwide

A journey of celebration

Enjoying first-class cocktails has never been easier with the Coppa Cocktails range – just add ice

Coppa Cocktails introduces you to a journey of celebration, with “the world’s best premium ready-to-drink cocktails”. With a delicious portfolio of 15 cocktail offerings, Coppa Cocktails offers a one-stop-shop for great tasting high-quality cocktails.

Coppa Cocktails was first developed as an innovative, affordable solution delivering high quality cocktails without the fuss or expense of buying all the individual ingredients.

The range offers a great cost-effective ready-to-drink option (5-6 servings per 70cl bottle, averaging less than €3 per serving).

Due to the growing interest in the RTD category in retail, Coppa Cocktails recently redesigned its shaker-shaped bottle and introduced a new stylish look for the more demanding ‘cocktail curious’ consumers.

The majority of the Coppa Cocktails are recommended to be served over ice as a long drink alternative to the classic versions. This makes the drinking occasion more playful and with a more refreshing profile.

All Coppa cocktails are made with the best natural ingredients, with real spirit base, with every cocktail being developed in close collaboration with world-class bartenders to ensure that ‘bar quality’ experience.

The Coppa Cocktails range is currently stocked on shelves in Dunnes Stores, SuperValu, Carry Out, Fine Wines, Circle K and many more stores nationwide.

Coppa Cocktails is exclusively imported and distributed by MCM Brands, Ireland.

For more information on stocking Coppa Cocktails, telephone 0872132211.

Bracing refreshment

Rockshore Hard Seltzer contains just 83 calories per 330ml can of Raspberry and Lime, and 86 calories per 330ml can of Watermelon

The brewers at St. James’s Gate are excited to unveil new Rockshore Hard Seltzer, the latest addition to the Rockshore portfolio joining Rockshore Lager, Rockshore Light and Rockshore Apple Cider, inspired by the bracing refreshment of the Irish coast.

Rockshore Hard Seltzer; sparkling water with alcohol and natural fruit flavours is available in Watermelon, Raspberry and Lime – packing all the refreshing taste you would expect from Rockshore with 83 calories per 330ml can of Raspberry and Lime, and 86 calories per 330ml can of Watermelon.

Speaking about the latest innovation, Rockshore senior brand manager, Hannah Todd said: “We are excited to be adding to the Rockshore portfolio with the launch of Rockshore Hard Seltzer following a successful three years of trade since we launched Rockshore Lager in 2018.

“People are actively seeking choices that deliver refreshing taste, so it felt like a perfect fit for Rockshore to introduce more options with the launch of new Rockshore Hard Seltzer,” she added.

The launch will be supported by an integrated communications campaign encompassing TV, digital, PR, sampling, media partnerships and in-store activations.

Rockshore Hard Seltzer is available in off-licences and supermarkets for a RRP of €3.45 per 330ml single can and RRP of €10 per 330ml four-pack can throughout the Republic of Ireland.

Poitín resurgence

Little & Green has an ABV of 5% and comes in three variants; Shifty Ginger, Shady Bramble and Sneaky Orchard

Straight from the heart of Dublin, Little & Green is the world’s first poitín canned cocktail. Ireland’s native spirit has a rollercoaster reputation – the drink of the people has a few stories to tell! Banned and driven underground for over 300 years, today poitín is experiencing a modern resurgence, driven by passionate producers across the island. Little & Green dares to bring poitín back to the party with a trio of ready-to-drink cocktails made for bold moments, on the go, cold from the can. The range has been created by the award-winning team at Bar 1661 in Dublin, home to the world’s largest selection of poitín and the palates behind the bestselling Irish brand Craft Cocktails.

Created with Mad March Hare Poitín and Bán Poitín, the range contains three lower in sugar, big on flavour sparkling cocktails, available in packs of four 300ml cans, with an ABV of 5%. Shifty Ginger is a spicy mule with ginger, orange blossom, and citrus. Sneaky Orchard is a refreshing collins with apple, elderflower, and pear. Shady Bramble is a tasty hedgerow mixed with blackberry, raspberry, and violet.

Made in Ireland using only natural ingredients, Little & Green is an Irish-to-the-core RTD that won’t blend into the background. Distributed by Intrepid Spirits, Little & Green is launching this month at independent retailers nationwide and online at

Same Jack, different outfit

 Jack Daniel’s & Cola ready-to-drink cans are the perfect solution for consumers to enjoy their favourite Jack Daniel’s long drink in a no fuss, no mess can. Making every moment count this summer, consumers can grab the perfect size 330ml to enjoy on the go with friends this BBQ season.

The Jack Daniel’s & Cola can is a whiskey-based RTD that was “created to expand social occasions where Jack could be enjoyed” by consumers, as stated by Brown-Forman CEO Lawson Whiting last year. Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 is mixed perfectly with Cola to ensure it has a really approachable flavour profile and its 5% ABV makes it accessible for anyone looking for a lower ABV offering*.

The range is now available in 330ml cans in stores nationwide.

Jack Daniel’s, Old No.7, is distributed exclusively by Edward Dillon & Co Ltd; contact your account manager or sales representative for further details.

*(Please drink responsibly. Get the facts: Be Drink Aware. Visit

Epic stories

offers unconventional flavours which really pack a punch: Sour Apple, Fruit Punch, Gold and Blue

Ready to drink (RTD) USA sensation, Four Loko, has hit the shelves in Ireland.

The growth of the RTD category in Ireland has exploded over the last 52 weeks with spirit RTDs driving the growth at +57% value MAT.

Four Loko, launched with Richmond Marketing IOI, has taken the market by storm and is winning share and adding incremental value to a fast-growing category. Since launch within the single spirit RTD format – Four Loko Fruit Punch, Apple & Gold are all in the top 12 in absolute value terms. The brand has the highest return per store among the top 10 spirit RTD brands. Four Loko is now the number five RTD brand in Retailer A*.

Four Loko launches with four 8.5% ABV vodka-based flavours in a convenient 440ml can, offering unconventional flavours which really pack a punch: Gold, Blue, Sour Apple and Fruit Punch.

Created over a decade ago by two college graduates, Four Loko has established itself as the leading RTD brand in the US, with its broad flavour range and successful marketing drive to create ‘Epic Stories’ for millennials and Gen Z consumers across the United States.

The brand advises contacting your local Richmond business developer if you would like to work with the team on developing a solution that is right for your store.

*(Source: Collated EPOS Data Retailer A c.50% of Total Off-trade read to week 24 2021)

Spicing up RTDs

The Opihr Gin RTD range comes in two flavours of G&T; with a Dash of Ginger and a Twist of Orange

Opihr Gin, the original spiced gin brand, has released a new format of its ready-to-drink (RTD) range, unveiling a duo of G&T cans now available in the Irish market. The new RTD cans combine Opihr’s popular spiced London Dry Gin with a quality tonic pairing and two enticing flavour twists: Gin & Tonic with a Dash of Ginger and Gin & Tonic with a Twist of Orange (both 250ml/ABV 6.5%).

As the leading spiced gin brand, Opihr is responding to increased consumer demand for adventurous flavours by making its RTD range more widely available to shoppers through the introduction of this new, convenient format, perfect for on-the-go occasions.

As Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have eased in recent weeks allowing for some socialising, consumers are increasingly seeking out premium G&T options to enjoy as they venture outdoors, Opihr is confident its new RTD duo will prove a hit with consumers thanks to their striking design and great taste.

Presenting a new and equally convenient way to enjoy its distinctive gin variants, Opihr’s RTD cans feature a beautifully ornate and striking design inspired by its connection to the Ancient Spice Route – where its hand-picked botanicals are sourced, including cubeb berries from Malaysia, coriander from Morocco and cardamom from India.

If you are interested in stocking Opihr RTDs, contact









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