The Coca-Cola Company has signed a brand authorization agreement with Constellation Brands to launch Fresca Mixed, a line of spirit-based, ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails in the U.S.
Fresca, a zero-calorie, grapefruit citrus-flavored soft drink in Coca-Cola’s U.S. soft-drink portfolio, is frequently used as a cocktail mixer. Constellation Brands, producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits brands such as Corona, Modelo and SVEDKA, will produce, market and distribute Fresca Mixed with quality spirit bases for launch later this year.
“The Coca-Cola Company and Constellation Brands have a shared passion for building some of the world’s most loved brands and for building best-in-class beverage experiences,” says Dan White, chief of new revenue streams, Coca-Cola North America Operating Unit. “Constellation’s consumer-focused approach, entrepreneurial spirit, expansive distribution network and distilled distribution expertise make them an ideal choice to bring Fresca Mixed to market.”
The $8 billion Adult Alternative Beverages and RTD cocktails segment is projected to grow at least 15% over the next three years, and the spirit-based RTD category is projected to grow at an annual rate of +33% in volume by 2025. Fresca Mixed will appeal to consumers searching for RTD cocktails to bridge between refreshing hard seltzers and full-flavored bar cocktails.
“As we emerge from the pandemic and look to long-term growth, we recognize that we must evolve our business models to address the entire beverage experience,” says White. “We created New Revenue Streams to do just that – to identify a broader range of revenue opportunities for the company beyond our traditional ready-to-drink beverage products.”
In 2018, Coca-Cola entered the alcohol category in Japan with the launch of Lemon-Dou. In 2020, the company announced a relationship with Molson Coors, which manufactures, markets and distributes Topo Chico Hard Seltzer in the U.S. The initial success of Topo Chico Hard Seltzer shows that consumers welcome recognizable beverage brands they already enjoy with alcohol enter the RTD alcohol space.
“Third-party relationships with licensed alcohol manufacturers show how we are following the consumer, taking an agile, experimentative approach to expanding our brands’ reach based on the evolving landscape,” says White. “The flavored alcohol beverage category is unique as there are synergies with our existing business models in various markets around the world. With the combination of a familiar, loved brand and strong distribution and market presence, we believe people will love the Fresca brand in this new category.”