Coca-Cola partners up with Constellation Brands to take Fresca into alcohol

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Coca-cola Constellation brands

The Coca-Cola Company has signed a brand authorization agreement with Constellation Brands Inc. to launch Fresca Mixed, a line of full-flavored, spirit-based ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails in the US.

Fresca, a zero-calorie, grapefruit citrus-flavored soft drink and cocktail mixer, is currently the fastest-growing trademark in The Coca-Cola Company’s U.S. soft-drink portfolio.

Constellation Brands will help Coca-Cola expand the brand into alcohol by producing, marketing and distributing Fresca Mixed: drawing on its distilled manufacturing and operational capabilities and national distilled distribution network with access to retailers who sell distilled alcoholic beverages. Fresca Mixed will 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,” ​said Dan White, chief of New Revenue Streams, Coca-Cola North America Operating Unit (NAOU). “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 $8bn Adult Alternative Beverages and RTD cocktails segment is projected to grow at least 15% over the next three years, and the spirits-based RTD category is projected to grow at annual rate of +33% in volume by 2025. Fresca Mixed will seek to appeal to consumers searching for ‘fuller-flavored experiences’ and higher-quality RTD cocktails to bridge between refreshing hard seltzers and full-flavored bar cocktails. 

Coca-Cola's New Revenue Streams (NRS) group, formerly known as Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB), is charged with moving the company into emerging or unfamiliar categories.

It cites the success of Topo Chico Hard Seltzer - set up with a US manufacturing, marketing and distribution agreement with Molson Coors in 2020 - as proof that consumers want to see recognisable brands in the RTD alcohol space.

“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,”​ White said. “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.”

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