US high-strength premixes market driven by health and wellness trends

Press Release   •   Jun 07, 2013 09:52 BST

In 2012 total volume sales within the US high-strength premixes market posted total volume growth of 11%, to reach 599 million litres.

High-strength premixes are primarily purchased in off-trade outlets in the US. Since 2007 the category has been able to capitalise during the recession as consumption shifted to the off-trade. The shift towards at-home entertaining aided the development of new high-strength premixes.

Consumers want to be able to enjoy drinks that they usually order in bars but many do not have the knowledge or experience to re-create them at home. High-strength premixes provided an alcoholic beverage that was ready to share with friends.

Health and wellness consumers, particularly women, have become key for high-strength premixes in the US. The desire for low-calorie beverages helped grow high-strength premixes in 2012, pushing volume growth to 16% to reach sales of 14 million litres.

Skinnygirl cocktails were the first of their kind to be marketed on a low-calorie platform, using agave instead of high fructose corn syrup to sweeten and lower the amount of calories.

The Skinnygirl brand grew by 93% in volume terms in 2012, with sales of over five million litres and multiple flavour extensions. Its success has created imitations and caused other brands to reformulate, with a focus on lowering calories.

Mike's Hard Beverage led the category in 2012 with a 29% volume share, up from 28% in 2011 when it assumed category leadership from Diageo. Unlike other companies, Mike's Hard Beverage actually generates all of its revenue from malt-based RTDs. This has helped the company remain focused on the category and find out what the consumer wants.

Underage drinking legislation will always remain a threat to forecast sales of high-strength premixes. RTDs are often sweetened, making them more palatable for instant consumption. That palatability becomes a negative quality when it tends to attract younger consumers who are new to drinking.

Federal watchdog groups and parents are sensitive regarding youth and alcohol consumption in the US. Any RTD linked with underage alcohol abuse will attract negative attention to the category and could prompt the government to step in, much like the increased scrutiny related to RTDs with added caffeine.

For more information on the US high-strength premixes market, see the latest research: US High-Strength Premixes Market

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