Shaking Up Summer: Crowning Britain’s Hottest Canned Cocktail Releases

Since 2020, the UK has witnessed a meteoric rise in canned cocktail culture, igniting a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. Projections suggest a robust compound annual growth rate of 16.2% from 2024 to 2030. In the previous year alone, the UK accounted for a staggering 23.4% share of the global ready-to-drink (RTD) market, boasting a market size estimated at £46 million. As British consumers eagerly stock up on canned cocktails and flock to local parks this summer, anticipation brews over the innovative offerings set to stir up the season.

The UK RTD market is a hotbed of innovation, boasting a diverse array of traditional blends and quirky concoctions. This surge of creativity stems from both emerging newcomers and seasoned brands, driving a dynamic landscape of refreshing options for consumers. Moreover, the UK has witnessed a remarkable uptick in the adoption of no- and low-alcohol drinks. According to a study by YouGov, a staggering 75% of UK drinkers have ventured into the realm of no-to-low alternatives, sparking a rise in alcohol-free innovations and premium mocktails. As competition in the canned cocktail arena intensifies, brands are relentlessly seeking ways to stand out in the market. The burning question remains: who will emerge as the summer’s top shot?

It’s Happy Hour! Ensuring Success In-Market

At System1, we understand that Happiness holds the key to unlocking in-market potential. That’s why we’ve developed a platform that harnesses the predictive power of emotion.

Test Your Innovation is an emotion-led innovation effectiveness platform driven by real consumer insights to accurately predict the commercial success of ideas and innovations. From new products to brand elements like taglines and logos, Test Your Innovation assesses a range of ideas crucial for market impact.

With its Star Rating system, the platform provides a clear measure of predicted in-market potential using a 1.0 to 5.9-Star scale. The Star Rating is derived from how ideas perform on Emotional Response, Share Trading indicators and Decision Speed:

  • Emotional Pull: Measured by System1’s FaceTrace® tool, Emotional Pull captures the emotional resonance of ideas, indicating their capacity to connect with consumers.
  • Share Trading: This metric predicts market success by assessing whether respondents would “Probably Buy” or sell shares in each idea, providing valuable insights into consumer behavior and preferences.
  • Decision Speed: Decision speed in the trading game measures how easy an idea is to understand and the likelihood of being chosen. Fast ideas receive positive weighting, while slower ideas are penalized, offering a nuanced understanding of consumer engagement.

2024 Canned Cocktail Top Shots 

While the canned cocktail industry typically generates significant online buzz this time of year, with numerous media outlets touting the best new RTD launches, we’ve taken a different approach. By harnessing the emotional response of real-life consumers through our Test Your Innovation platform, we’ve subjected this year’s RTD newcomers to the ultimate test. These insights uncover the flavour combinations, packaging designs, and all-new product launches with the potential for in-market success, ultimately driving brand growth and commercial outcomes. Through validated consumer insights, we’ve pinpointed the hottest canned cocktail release of the season.

Let’s look at the results.

Bombay Sapphire Bramble

Bombay Sapphire’s Bramble canned cocktail, a delightful fusion of gin, blackberries, and raspberries was one of the public’s favourite. Revamping the classic British bramble cocktail, Bombay Sapphire capitalised on consumer familiarity and ingeniously introduced it to our shelves in a sleek ready-to-drink can. Surpassing the category average, it garnered rave reviews from consumers who appreciated its pleasing flavour profile, distinctive branding, and optimal can size. Regarded as the epitome of premium quality by both seasoned alcohol enthusiasts and a nationally representative audience, this innovation shines as a standout in the market.

How much would consumers pay? £2.10

Consumer Feedback

“Not seen it before but I think it will be a hit” – Emotion: Surprise

“Nice flavours. Good tin size” – Emotion: Happiness

Absolute Vodka Sprite 

Leading the pack in this year’s summer canned cocktail race is the latest collaboration between Absolut Vodka and Sprite, which stole the spotlight with an impressive 5.2-Star Rating among consumers. By uniting two renowned brands and their signature flavour combinations, Absolut and Sprite have crafted a creation that strikes the balance between familiarity and novelty, adhering to System1 founder John Kearon’s 80:20 rule—where innovations that truly shine often comprise 80% familiarity and 20% novelty. This refreshing innovation appears to be a winning formula for many consumers, eliciting positive feedback for its delightful blend of Sprite and vodka. Who would have anticipated vodka to reign as the preferred canned mixer this year?

Consumers are eagerly anticipating sunny weather, with spontaneous mentions of its refreshing taste on a warm summer’s day. It’s no surprise that this product over indexed on ‘relevant’ compared to the product set. It appears to be the ideal summer concoction!

How much would consumers pay? £2.20

Consumer Feedback

“It’s a modern take on vodka mixed. It’s amazing” – Emotion: Surprise

“Looks really refreshing and I would love to have a taste” – Emotion: Happiness

Create with Confidence

Innovation is a serious business, with around $6.7 billion invested in new product development every year. RTD cocktails represent just a small portion of this enormous figure. Whether you’re launching a new product, want to understand whether your tagline resonates with consumers, or want to evaluate how your idea will stack up against competitors, Test Your Innovation empowers brands to Create with Confidence and launch new innovations they know will be an in-market success. So, which idea will be your next star?