A flourishing market for ready-to-drink formats
A new format has emerged in the beverage industry: ready-to-drinks, otherwise known as RTDs. RTDs are ready-to-use beverages in single-use packaging. Thanks to the wide variety of RTD beverages, the market caters to different target consumer profiles. Let’s find out what the expectations and trends of this growing market are.
The RTD market: a growing market
A must in the United States, these trendy drinks are increasingly popular
The RTD market has grown significantly over the past few years and this momentum does not seem to be slowing anytime soon. The share of RTDs in major markets (US, China, Europe) is expected to double by 2025 . According to a recent study, the CAGR of the RTD market between 2021 and 2028 is estimated at 5.87% .
In the United States, RTDs have become a must-have. In fact, the demand for these drinks is so high that the industry experienced a shortage during the summer of 2019. And it keeps going! This year, in the US, RTD sales may even surpass wine sales .
A highly diversified category
From alcoholic beverages (cocktails, hard seltzers…), to functional beverages, without forgetting coffees and teas, the RTD range is vast.
The case of RTD functional beverages is particularly interesting since they have the special characteristic of bringing a health dimension to this category.
The case of RTD functional beverages is particularly interesting since they have the special characteristic of bringing a health dimension to this category. They include enhanced waters, energy or relaxation drinks, but also high-protein and/or low-lactose dairy drinks. A varied range to meet the diverse expectations of consumers.
Products that address a variety of targets
Millennials are the priority target of this market. On the one hand, they are looking for products adapted to their lifestyle: increasingly practical and mobile. And on the other hand, this young generation is the most aware of environmental issues and the impact of food on their health. RTDs are therefore perfectly adapted to the expectations of these 2.0 consumers. Manufacturers have understood this and are working on packaging designs that are highly “Instagrammable“. They also use social networks as a priority communication channel.
Millennials are the priority target of this market.
However, with the emergence of functional and enriched RTD beverages, the RTD market is reaching a wider target. Indeed, whether in the context of sports practice, an active lifestyle or in the process of “aging well“, the demand for these functional products keeps growing.
RTDs: perfectly in tune with current trends
Put back in the spotlight by the COVID-19 pandemic, the trends of wellness and sustainable consumption are resonating in everyone’s minds. This is a real boon for the RTD market: less sweet, lower in calories, natural, no or low alcohol alternatives… Everything needed to meet these trends.
Moreover, with the desire to consume less but better, the premiumization trend is starting to gain importance. RTDs are thus taking advantage of the consumer craze for more qualitative products thanks to elaborate packaging and sophisticated formulas.
Finally, health and well-being aspects are also provided for using functional ingredients.
Health and well-being aspects are also provided for using functional ingredients.
Discover our functional ingredients. Pronativ® offers a range of ingredients for your formulations to improve sports performance or to age in good health. They will be integrated into the composition of your functional drinks, without compromising on their taste:
- Pronativ® – Native Whey Protein: stimulates muscle synthesis in athletes and seniors.
- Pronativ® – Native Micellar Casein: ensures a prolonged release of amino acids into the bloodstream and slows down muscle breakdown during periods of fasting. It also has benefits for bone health thanks to its richness in bioavailable micellar calcium
We also offer whey protein concentrates, the main ingredients of high-protein functional drinks. Laktein WPC80, our protein for functional applications, is available. It comes from France, and it is the ideal ingredient for “clean label” products.
 IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. 2020. RTD volume share expected to double in next five years in top markets. https://www.theiwsr.com/driven-by-consumer-demand-rtd-volume-share-expected-to-double-in-next-five-years-in-top-markets/
 Data Bridge Market Research. 2021. Global Ready-to-Drink (RTD) Protein Beverage Market – Industry Trends and Forecast to 2028
 ISWR Drinks Market Analysis. 2021. How has Covid-19 altered consumer attitudes in the US? https://www.theiwsr.com/how-has-covid-19-altered-consumer-attitudes-in-the-us/