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The Unstoppable Rise of Ready-to-drink Beverages in India

Authored article by Ajay Shetty, Founder and CEO of Salud In the vibrant tapestry of India's beverage landscape, a compelling trend has steadily gained traction over the past few years – the unstoppable rise of Ready-to-drink

In the vibrant tapestry of India’s beverage landscape, a compelling trend has steadily gained traction over the past few years – the unstoppable rise of Ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages. Once overshadowed by traditional thirst-quenchers and homemade concoctions, RTDs have emerged as the new darlings of Indian consumers.

According to a report by the International Spirits & Wines Association of India (ISWAI), India’s alcoholic beverage market is predicted to reach $64 billion over the next five years, solidifying India’s ranking as the fifth-largest contributor to global market revenues in the near to medium term. It stated that the sector, which is expected to reach a market size of $52.4 billion in 2021, made up about 2% of the nominal GDP of the nation and is still a sizable industry (Rs 3.9 lakh crore, including country liquor).

This shift, driven by evolving consumer habits and a desire for convenience, reflects a profound change in preferences and lifestyles. Consumers are drawn to RTD) beverages due to their wide variety of flavours and options, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and their busy lifestyles and growing desire for simpler options.

Redefining convenience

The unmatched convenience that RTDs provide is what sets them apart and has been the driving force behind their popularity boom. The hectic pace of modern life leaves little time for complex beverage preparation, making RTDs the perfect quick fix. The convenience of having a perfectly blended beverage at your fingertips without requiring extra ingredients or mixing tools fits in well with the demands of modern, on-the-go lifestyles.

The beverage industry’s conventional definition of convenience has changed with the introduction of RTDs. Consumers can now enjoy a variety of sophisticated and expertly crafted beverages without sacrificing valuable time, as they are no longer limited to carbonated soft drinks or basic juices.

Providing diverse flavours and options

The wide range of flavours and beverage options is another important factor in the RTD phenomenon. RTDs have become a market leader by adjusting to the ever-evolving tastes of the contemporary consumer in a market where customization and choice are crucial. In addition to raising customer satisfaction, this diversity establishes RTDs as a welcoming choice for a broad spectrum of consumers.

Mixology innovation in the RTD category has made sophisticated cocktails more accessible to a wider audience by democratizing them. The overall impression of RTDs as a high-end, sophisticated beverage option is enhanced by this innovative and approachable combination. Moreover, RTDs have gone beyond the conventional alcoholic and non-alcoholic options to cater to lifestyle preferences. These choices now include wellness-focused options like low-calorie options and drinks made with organic and natural ingredients.

Changing demographics

Originally adopted by millennials seeking novelty and ease, RTDs have transcended generational boundaries to become a commonplace occurrence. A product that was formerly thought to be niche has experienced a metamorphosis and gained the interest and allegiance of a wide range of consumers. With resonance across a range of consumer lifestyles and preferences, this broad appeal transcends age demographics.

This impressive rise in popularity indicates how flexible and in tune RTDs are with the changing needs of a changing customer base. RTDs’ status as a mainstay in the modern beverage market is further cemented by the demographic’s continuous diversification. RTDs are a prime example of how a once-niche product can evolve into a vital and adaptable part of contemporary beverage culture as long as it continues to serve a wide range of consumers.

Shaping economic factors

The widespread use of RTDs has been largely attributed to their affordability. These drinks are sophisticated and convenient, but they’re also reasonably priced, which appeals to a variety of customers, including those on a tight budget. When combined with their other desirable qualities, RTDs’ affordable price makes them seem more like an accessible luxury than a luxury. Also in the beverage industry, accessibility frequently corresponds with affordability, and RTDs have done a good job of positioning themselves as an inclusive choice in this regard.

Focusing on innovation and adaptation

The surge of RTD beverages stands as a testament to the dynamic interplay of economic factors, evolving demographics, accessibility, and strategic marketing. Beyond meeting consumer needs, RTDs have reshaped the paradigm of convenient and pleasurable beverage experiences.

As RTDs continue to innovate and adapt to the ever-changing preferences of consumers, the trajectory of their market ascent appears set to redefine the beverage industry in profound and innovative ways. From their modest origins as a quick refreshment option, RTDs have matured into a symbol of contemporary living, offering a delightful escape for convenience-seeking consumers without compromising on quality or experience.



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