Constellation & Coca-Cola to make boozy Fresca

Svedka owner Constellation Brands has partnered with The Coca-Cola Company to create a line of ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails under the latter's Fresca soft drink brand.

Through a brand authorisation agreement, Constellation and Coca-Cola will release Fresca Mixed, a range of spirit-based canned serves, later this year in the US. Dan White, chief of new revenue streams, Coca-Cola North America, cited Constellation's "consumer-focused approach to brand building, expansive distribution network, and distilled distribution expertise" as the motivation behind the partnership. "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," White said. The new product range will mark another foray into alcohol for Coca-Cola, following the launch of its Topo Chico Hard Seltzer line last year. “The Coca-Cola Company’s Fresca brand is not only trusted by consumers, but also directly delivers on consumer preferences for refreshment, flavour and convenience – attributes that also play well within beverage alcohol and where we can leverage our expertise,” commented Bill Newlands, Constellation president and CEO. According to Constellation Brands market research, adult alternative beverages including RTD cocktails are worth nearly US$8 billion, and are forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15%-17% over the next three years. Mallika Monteiro, Constellation’s chief growth, strategy and digital officer, said: “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. “This is an exciting agreement that allows us to continue expanding our premium portfolio in ways that deliver distinctive consumer value propositions that include things like more flavour, different alcohol bases and functional benefits.” In November, reports circulated that Constellation was exploring a potential merger with energy drink maker Monster Beverage Corporation, but the company refused to comment.