Coca-Cola and Constellation Brands to create spirits-based cocktails under Fresca soda brand
07 Jan 2022 --- Beverage alcohol company Constellation Brands has partnered with the Coca-Cola Company in the US to launch the Fresca brand into the beverage alcohol segment. Together the companies will manufacture and distribute Fresca Mixed, a spirit-based line of ready-to-drink cocktails.
Fresca is a hybrid between a cocktail mixer, a soft drink and a zero-sugar, zero-calorie sparkling soda which corners a special niche in the soft-drink category. The new Fresca Mixed will have a fuller flavored ready-to-drink range of cocktails containing alcoholic spirits.
The move will propel soft drink giant Coca-Cola, sold in 200 countries, into the adult alternative beverages category worth US$8 billion projected to grow to 17% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in the coming three years, as the consumer trend accelerates.
“The Coca-Cola Company’s Fresca directly delivers on consumer preferences for refreshment, flavor and convenience – attributes that also play well within beverage alcohol and where we can leverage our expertise,” says Bill Newlands, Constellation’s president and CEO.
Consumer brands corner the market
Trusted consumer brands are commanding a significant share of the market, according to Constellation Brands market research. Fresca’s has enjoyed considerable popularity with consumers lately and is cited as the Coca-Cola Company’s fastest growing soft drink trademark, on its US portfolio.
“One of the core tenets of our innovation strategy is a belief in the power of extending strong and trusted brands in thoughtful ways to bring to market unique products that resonate with consumers,” says Mallika Monteiro, Constellation’s chief growth, strategy and digital officer.
“Our new relationship with Constellation Brands is ideal due to their consumer-focused approach to brand building, expansive distribution network and distilled distribution expertise,” adds Dan White, chief of new revenue streams, Coca-Cola North America operating unit.
High time for cocktails
Fresca Mixed is expected to launch this year featuring recipes created by the product’s fans around the world.
The mixers will be produced and distributed by Constellation who have operations in the US, Mexico, New Zealand and Italy. “This agreement allows us to continue expanding our premium portfolio in ways that deliver distinctive consumer value propositions that include things like more flavor, different alcohol bases and functional benefits,” continues Monteiro.
Blurring the lines within the drinks category has been gathering momentum in recent years, particularly as beverage brands vie for growth. On one hand, younger generations are opting for no- and low-alcohol choices, while also wanting an exciting, adventurous drinks blend with an alcohol content.
The hard seltzer category was born in the US but is still in its early days in Europe and Asia-Pacific, with great potential for growth.
Ready-to-drink cocktail launches run parallel to the growth of the “hard seltzer” category. PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew-branded alcoholic beverage is expected to launch in the first quarter of this year.
As part of the business arrangement, Boston Beer will develop and produce Hard Mtn Dew, which will maintain a characteristic bold, citrus flavor and an Alcohol by Volume (ABV) of 5%.
Hard seltzers have been pegged as the success story of the US beer market as it is seeing an influx of consumer appeal.
US-based flavor and fragrance company Flavorchem is helping brands tap into the booming hard seltzer trend with a new line of clean label flavors. The launch features both singular flavors and fruity combinations that are non-GMO, kosher, vegan and allergen-free.
Edited by Inga de Jong
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