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Craft Beer Times | Summer Sip Insights: RTD Interest Dips, Inflation Impacts On-Premise Visits

Summer Sip Insights: RTD Interest Dips, Inflation Impacts On-Premise Visits

Summer Sip Insights: RTD Interest Dips, Inflation Impacts On-Premise Visits

Summer Drinking Trends and Its Impact on the Alcohol Industry


Summer is here, and with the season comes changes in drinking trends among consumers. As the weather warms up, more and more people become inclined towards refreshing and crisp drinks like beer, wine, and ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails. However, as the competition in the alcohol industry intensifies, it has become more important than ever for brands and businesses to keep track of the latest industry trends and changes in consumer preferences. The recently-released Drizly Annual Consumer Report offers valuable insights into the shifts in the beverage landscape that should be on the radar of anyone in the industry.

Summer Interest in RTDs Down

According to the Drizly Annual Consumer Report, the interest in ready-to-drink cocktails has decreased in the summer of 2021. In 2020, the pandemic had forced bars, restaurants, and clubs to shut down for months, pushing consumers to turn towards DIY cocktails and RTDs. However, with the reopening of public spaces, consumers are now looking for in-person bar experiences, leading to a decline in sales of alcoholic beverages for at-home consumption. This trend has been reflected in the demand for RTDs, which has decreased in summer 2021 compared to the previous year.

The Impact on Businesses

With the decrease in consumer interest in RTDs, it’s becoming more important for businesses to stay up to date on customers’ drinking habits. Brands and businesses who were relying on selling RTDs during the pandemic are now looking for other ways to stay relevant in the market. Indeed, some businesses are looking back to pre-pandemic times for inspiration, with bars and restaurants reinventing their cocktail menus to more traditional recipes and offerings.

Inflation Impacting On-Premise Visits

The Drizly Annual Consumer Report also revealed that inflation has had a considerable impact on visiting and purchasing alcohol at on-premise locations. According to the report, high inflation rates have caused many bars and restaurants to increase their prices, leading to a decrease in visits from consumers. High inflation rates have forced many businesses to adapt, such as offering more affordable dining options, drink specials, and happy hours.

The Impact on Consumers

Consumers are sensitive to changes in prices, and the rise in costs due to inflation has left many feeling anxious about when and where to indulge in their favorite drinks. Some consumers are opting for off-premise consumption like buying alcohol at liquor stores and drinking at home, rather than at restaurants and bars.


The summer of 2021 has brought about a shift in consumer drinking habits, with a decline in the demand for RTDs and the impact of inflation on the on-premise market. The rise in prices and people’s anxiety about drinking out might change the way we consume alcohol as we know it. It’s important for businesses and brands to keep these trends in mind and plan accordingly to innovate and adapt to the changing market conditions.


Dustin is a writer about craft beer and a professional brewer in the city of Chicago. He has written for several magazines and has over a decade of experience in the beer industry. He is currently working on a book about the history of beer in Chicago.

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