Growth of ready-to-drink cocktails accelerated by consumer demand for high-quality ingredients, variation and convenience

With Summer in full swing, many adult consumers will fire up their grills and raise a glass (or can!) to our nation’s independence with a ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktail, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).

DISCUS reports that last year the spirits-based RTD and pre-mixed cocktail category grew an astounding 56 percent from 23.5 million cases sold in 2020 to 36.6 million in 2021.

The pandemic accelerated the growth of these spirits-based products as adult consumers looked to recreate the cocktail experience at home with convenient, pre-mixed cocktails made with premium spirits, fresh ingredients and low alcohol by volume options.

“With so many diverse, fresh flavors and spirits to choose from, spirits-based RTDs make for a perfect summer sipper to toast the Fourth of July,” said Chris Swonger, president and CEO of DISCUS who noted that spirits-based RTDs often contain the same amount of alcohol as malt or wine-based RTDs. “Spirits-based RTDs allow consumers to enjoy a refreshing cocktail that is also convenient for outdoor activities, including at the beach, poolside or during backyard BBQs.”

Swonger urged adults who are planning to socialize with family and friends over cocktails this holiday weekend to do so responsibly.

“For all those who will raise a toast to our country and celebrate together, please drink in moderation and never drive impaired.”

An important part of responsible drinking is understanding the standard drink equivalent established in the Dietary Guidelines For Americans, 2020-2025, which states that regular beer (12 oz.), distilled spirits (1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits) and wine (5 oz.) each contains the same amount of alcohol.