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Ready-to-drink cocktails gaining popularity nationwide and in Mississippi

Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 10:18 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Demand for alcohol increased during the pandemic, and there’s a new trend that a law change is allowing Mississippi to get in on.

Access to some of your favorite booze is changing.

You can now pop open a ready-to-drink cocktail. You may have seen them at your local convenience store or supermarket and wondered how they’re selling them.

“They’re the real deal,” said Gene Sheriff, Capital City Beverages Vice President of Sales. “Nothing fake about these and the taste is exceptional. I drink bourbon and you can taste the bourbon in the crown.”

The Mississippi law changed in 2021 making it legal for beer distributors to sell the ready-made drinks. Before, you could only buy them at the liquor stores.

“We’ve read about the boom of ready-to-drink cocktails, and we refer to it as RTDs and how it’s growing nationally,” added Sheriff. “But we’re seeing the same thing here locally.”

In February, the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. reported that premixed cocktails were the fastest-growing spirits category in 2021. The sales of premixed cocktails surged 42.3% compared with a year earlier.

Capital City Beverages just started rolling out the products in February. And it went from non-existent to popular.

“In our top 15 segments, segments being like premium beer, import beer, light wines… these light spirits are now number seven,” noted Sheriff. “And we just have just a few brands that we offer and we’ve been approved for a lot more to come. So as time goes on, I’ve certainly see these brands being in our top five- up top five segments by the end of the year.”

Because of that, Capital City Beverages has added more space in their Jackson warehouse and added a few more employees.

And the convenience factor is something distributors expect will continue to drive up those sales.

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