Unlock 1.0 of COVID-19 situation in India can provide opportunities for RTD cocktails, says GlobalData

Although many public places reopened in India on 8 June 2020 after nearly two and a half months of strict lockdown, bars and pubs have been kept out of the purview of Unlock 1.0, with some Indian states such as Telangana being an exception. Yet, even with some pubs and bars being open, consumers may be skeptical about returning to such venues, creating new opportunities in the spirit-based ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails, which currently have limited exposure in India. Against this backdrop, the existing alcohol brands can capitalize on this cautionary behavior and create a new target audience, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Currently, the spirits market is set to decline by *14.04% over 2019-2020 while it was predicted to grow by 5.46% before COVID-19, and much of this will be tied to a lack of on-trade sales. Manufacturers may be able to offset this somewhat by targeting the at-home consumption occasions with new RTD cocktails.

Shubham Mahajan, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The general concept of pubs – where adherence to social distancing can prove to be difficult – will create uncertainty in the minds of cautious consumers, even when all states reopen these outlets. The existence of RTD cocktails can recreate a party-atmosphere at-home for those consumers who prefer to only interact with a select group of known people, rather than going to pubs where one will be in close proximity to strangers.”

Presently in India, apart from fruit-flavored breezers, there are no brands offering RTD cocktail options. This provides opportunities for brands to not just provide flavors associated with foodservice at-home but also to target those consumers intending to lower their alcohol intake by opting for alcoholic drinks with a low ABV.

Mahajan continues: “Due to COVID-19 outbreak, **45% of consumers in India are spending significantly/slightly more time or even all day, every day socializing with friends and family at home than before, showcasing that homes have become hubs for social gatherings and sharing consumption occasions.”

Although cocktail mixes from brands such as &Stirred and Lounge Myx are already available, the proportion in which the spirits should be added to recreate a pub-like flavor experience may not be achievable each time.

Mahajan concludes: “Preparing a variety of cocktails with different spirit-base also requires consumers to separately purchase multiple alcoholic beverages, which can be viewed as an additional task. Hence, RTD cocktails could provide a convenient solution offering diverse options for parties at-home.”

  • *Source: GlobalData’s Market Value Percent Growth Comparisons – Baseline vs. Slowdown – June 12th update
  • **Source: GlobalData’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracker Consumer Survey Results: Week 10 (June 3rd) – India – combined results of significantly more/slightly more time/all day, every day responses

More Media