Drinks Ireland’s latest figures show that the Ready to Drink (RTD) spirits category is set to continue growing in popularity this summer.

The category includes hard seltzers and ready to drink cocktails, many of which have hit shelves for the first time in recent years.

These drinks took the global market by storm during the Covid pandemic, with the volume of sales up by 14% in 2021 and 26% in 2020.

This trend was mirrored here, according to Drinks Ireland. Sales of cocktails and long drinks in Ireland grew by 60% last year, while hard seltzers were up by 46%.

This comes as overall alcohol consumption continues to decline in Ireland, down by 4.7% between 2020 and 2021, and 33% since 2001.

The majority of sales were imported RTD products, but a number of local producers have entered the market, with sales of Irish RTD brands up by 7.4% between 2020 and 2021.

Vincent McGovern, director of Spirits at Drinks Ireland, said that RTDs are another great innovation in the Irish spirits market that consumers have responded positively to.

“We are seeing Irish suppliers jump on this trend, and this is set to continue,” he said.