Coca-Cola Is Becoming A Cocktail?

By Kristi Eckert | 3 weeks ago

diet soda coca-cola

Beverage giant Coca-Cola is tapping into the booze business in a big way. After the success of their Top Chico hard seltzer garnered following its release last year, Coca-Cola is looking to capitalize further on the rapidly growing low-calorie canned cocktail industry. According to CNN, Coke plans to release an alcoholic version of its popular soda Fresca called Fresca Mixed. 

Fresca Mixed is being developed by Coke in partnership with Constellation Brands, which also produces Corona branded beverage products. Coke asserted that they honed in on Fresca as the next product in their move to add adult beverages to their portfolio because of its steadily growing popularity. In fact, CNBC pointed out that Fresca is, at present, Coca-Cola’s fastest-growing IP.  

Fresca’s rising popularity amongst consumers echoes a larger industry trend. Low-calorie and zero-calorie beverages have been gaining viable market share in recent years, so much so that manufactures are revising their diet beverage labels to reflect the public-preferred “Zero-Calorie” wording. Additionally, CNBC further detailed, that the logic behind getting Fresca into the adult beverage market now is that it will likely attract a demographic of existing customers who already use the popular soda’s different flavors as a mixer. 

Fresca Mixed is slated to release in the latter half of 2022. Both Coca-Cola and Constellation said that it will launch with a range of flavors. However, they were not specific about what those flavors could be. They did tease that they plan to enlist the help of Fresca fans from around the world to aid in the creation of the different tastes that the canned cocktail will have. This is potentially a very smart marking move that could help to further drive hype and anticipation for the new beverage leading up to its release.

In fact, some are already speculating about potential recipes that Coca-Cola could decide to pull from the public’s existing concoctions that combine Fresca with alcohol. Well-known Bravo Host Andy Cohen frequently touts his affinity for his very own “Frequila” concoction. To make his signature cocktail he combines different Fresca varieties with his Tequila of choice. 

Coca-Cola’s new foray into adult beverages is advantageous for the brand. Especially since the canned-cocktail industry grew by an impressive 53% year over year and further projections indicate that this market is likely to continue to trend upward. That’s good news for Coke. That being said, they did come a little late to the party. Major competitor Pepsi Co. beat them to the punch. Pepsi Co., in conjunction with the Boston Beer Company, announced its new canned cocktail last summer when it unveiled Hard Mountain Dew. 

Hard Mountain Dew will initially be available in three flavors – original, watermelon, and black cherry – and will contain 5% APV. Hard Mountain Dew is expected to hit liquor store shelves beginning in early 2022. The fact that Pepsi Co.’s Hard Mountain Dew is likely to make it to stores months before Coca-Cola’s new product, could potentially thwart the number of consumers that Coke is able to attract when Fresca Mixed finally does launch.