Beverage alcohol consumption has changed dramatically in recent years. The pandemic impacted the way people consumed adult beverages, and younger consumers aged 21 and older are driving consumption of ready-to-drink (RTD) beverage alcohol products. Scott Scanlon, executive vice president of Circana’s Beverage Alcohol practice, provides insight into these changes and the outlook for 2024 and beyond.


  • Typically, as adults aged 21 and older begin drinking, their first choices are beer or wine. More recently, young adults aged 21 and older are starting with RTD beverages, particularly spirits-based options.
  • Despite the vast array of beverage choices, beverage alcohol consumption is softening across generations. However, premium beverages are still showing growth.
  • Much of the allure of RTD beverage alcohol among younger consumers is with packaging, including on-the-go options like ball form, slim cans, and aseptic packaging.
  • Whiskey, tequila, spirits-based RTDs, and imported beer from Mexico continue to fuel the beverage alcohol market.