Coca-Cola to enter hard seltzer market

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The Coca-Cola Company will be expanding its brand portfolio to include a hard seltzer beverage later this year, a spokesperson at the company has confirmed for FOX Business.

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The new drink’s name is Topo Chico Hard Seltzer and it will be made from Topo Chico Mineral Water – a sparkling water company that has sourced and bottled water in Monterrey, Mexico since 1895 and was bought by Coca-Cola in 2017 for $220 million.

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Topo Chico has reportedly “been popular with many mixologists,” according to a press release issued by Coca-Cola on Thursday.

Moreover, Coca-Cola’s boozy beverage will be offered in select Latin American cities at some point in 2020. An exact date has not been specified. Though, the U.S. is scheduled to distribute Topo Chico Hard Seltzer in 2021, a Coca-Cola spokesperson told FOX Business.

The Coca-Cola Company – which had an estimated 43.3 percent of the U.S. market share in 2018, according to research from Statista – is no stranger to sparkling drinks or alcoholic beverages. In fact, the company has been building on these drink categories in recent years domestically and abroad.

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Outside of Topo Chico, Coca-Cola’s water brands Dasani, Smartwater, I LOHAS and Ciel all hve sparkling variants, and in late 2019, the company launched its flavored sparkling water brand AHA.

Meanwhile, in Japan, Coca-Cola introduced Lemon-Do in May 2018. The lemon-flavored alcoholic beverage rolled out with ABV contents of three-, five-, seven- and nine-percent in a nine-month span, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal last year.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
KOCOCA-COLA COMPANY47.69-0.33-0.69%

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Interestingly enough, Coca-Cola President and CEO James Quincy told Yahoo! Finance that the company would not be selling alcoholic beverages in the U.S. after the successful launch of Lemon-Do.

However, sparkling soft drinks declined by 12 percent in North America, Western Europe and India, according to Coca-Cola’s Second Quarter 2020 Results. The cause was “due to pressure in away-from-home channels,” the report stated.

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The hard seltzer market, on the other hand, has seen explosive growth in the last two years. The category surpassed $1 billion in off-premise sales during the week of the Fourth of July holiday, a market research report from Nielsen showed earlier this month.

Beer and alcohol companies have launched or have announced plans to launch hard seltzer brands unlike most soft drink companies.

Monster Beverage Corp is one soft drink company that has reportedly discussed hard seltzer’s potential internally, according to a report from The Motley Fool, but Coca-Cola also has a minority stake in the company at 16.7 percent, which it bought in June 2015 for $2.15 billion.

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