We're in the middle of quarterly reporting mode here at Kaddy Community, peering back over the data from our Kaddy Marketplace sister site to get a comprehensive picture of what was hot (or not) in Australian drinks for Q1 2023.
We launched the first tranche of results from this deep dive last week with our analysis of the 10 hottest Australian craft beers of Q1 2023 (here it is if you missed it) on Kaddy Marketplace.
Then today, we're going deep into the Ready-To-Drink world with a flick through the virtual paperwork to discover the 12 premium Australian RTDs that are trending on Kaddy in 2023.
Glad you asked. As we reported earlier in the year, IWSR data shows that RTD value will rise at a CAGR of +7% between 2022 and 2026, with premium spirit-based RTDs leading the charge.
As this feature in Forbes notes, the US market (which is already approaching RTD saturation point) has seen big swings towards premium options, especially for spirits-based RTDs. Locally, we're seeing the same thing (although about a year behind), with an emphasis on all-natural fruit additions and higher calibre spirits in mixed drinks and cocktails.
Well, it's early doors, but the non-alc wine space is starting to fold over into this market, too, as we explored in our recent feature. In fact, NOLO RTDs are at the leading edge of drink innovation, with makers like Naked Life, Lyres, Yes You Can Drinks & Smug AFs' ranges of non-alc cocktails a modern revelation (and booming on Kaddy).
For this list, we've pulled out the twelve Australian-made ready-to-drink products that were bestsellers between January-March in 2023 on Kaddy Marketplace.
FYI - counts are based on cases sold, with case lots varying between 12-24 cans/bottles. Only those products within the RTD category are eligible.
BrewDog's ginger beer has an almost cult following as a viable not-beer alternative. This QLD-brewed product is proclaimed as 'a tribute to the weaving brown river through Brisbane' that is 'pumped with ginger venom'. With 'a hit of carbonated and refreshing sweetness' and 'followed by a punchy, ginger bite to finish'.
The most popular of the Mode seltzers, this locally produced vodka-based seltzer combines the sweet and sour contrasts of yuzu, cucumber and basil in a mode of true understatement.
Billed as a 'mouth-watering take on an Aussie staple' this is 'packed full of real limes delivering a refreshing, zesty flavour'. Boasting to be 'all-natural, gluten-free, super low-calorie, vegan friendly and Aussie made' this again follows in the understated trend seen in so many of 2023's most popular RTDs.
Carrying the evocative subtitle of 'Frankie's Sunset Dress', this is one of the juicier Mode seltzers, but it's still dry and not sweet - just seriously refreshing.
We covered the rising success of hard kombucha at the end of last year, including a chat with Mate Maker co-founder Tom Appleton. It hasn't taken long for Mate Maker to rise up the sales charts too, with this organic Mango Peach Smash the favourite of the range.
Smug's non-alc cocktails have been long-time hits at Kaddy, with their margaritas hugely popular. This bellini is made with real peach puree and non-alcoholic sparkling wine.
How is this for an evocative description of this hard seltzer? 'The first dip of the day. Cleansing body and mind from the city slog. Back to shore, salt-crusted towels, toes in the sand, wet hair sprawled across your back. The cool embrace of nature, warming again in the sun'. Mode's super cool style is on full display with this Australian seltzer, complete with Davidson Plum for real local flavour.
Naked Life's Margarita & Negroni were big last year, and this year it is clearly Mojito's time to shine. Made with 94% Australian ingredients (including local botanicals) this is a top-flight local non-alc cocktail.
Using local ingredients is one of the big innovative drivers in local spirit production, so it's not surprising that it is spilling over into RTDs - now writ large in this proudly Australian seltzer.
It's difficult to argue with this one - a G & T, 'packed full of real cucumber delivering a clean and refreshing flavour'. With gin crafted using ten botanicals including juniper, coriander, lemon peel, cardamon and 89 calories it's little surprise this is so popular.
The star of our feature on brewers expanding their repertoires, One Drop's Hard Lemonade has been an almost immediate cult hit, with co-founder Clay Grant saying that ‘We wanted this drink to be like your old-school Aussie lemonade. So we jammed it with lots of fresh squeezed Aussie lemon juice and tweaked it with a touch of sweetness to keep it sessionable. It is perfect with a glass full of cold ice’.
The final entrant on our hot list, Smug's Cosmo this is made with fresh Australian cranberry juice and a non-alcoholic take on Cointreau for a rather impressive vigrin Cosmo.