When Coca-Cola Co. enters the U.S. alcohol market next year for the first time in three decades, it won’t be going in alone. The soda giant has struck a deal with Molson Coors to manufacture, market and distribute Topo Chico Hard Seltzer beginning in the first half of 2021.
The drink, which Coca-Cola first announced in July, is an alcoholic version of Topo Chico sparkling water, a fast-rising brand the company acquired in 2017. The deal with Molson Coors gives the brewer another seltzer brand to compete in an increasingly competitive segment, while offering Coke a way to quickly penetrate retail stores using the brewer’s network of distributors.
“In bringing Topo Chico Hard Seltzer to market, our focus is speed, quality and efficiency. Our relationship with Molson Coors Beverage Company allows Topo Chico Hard Seltzer to launch with scale, at an accelerated pace, delivering a product that consumers will love,” Dan White, VP of strategic initiatives for Coca-Cola Co. said in a press release.
Molson Coors CEO Gavin Hattersley added that “this is another significant step in growing our above premium portfolio and becoming a major competitor in the rapidly-growing hard seltzer segment—both key components of our revitalization plan.”
Representatives for the brewer did not immediately confirm which agency will be used for Topo Chico Seltzer, although the deal could bring a new opportunity to its roster of agencies, which includes DDB, Leo Burnett and Johannes Leonardo.
Johannes Leonardo already works on another Molson Coors hard seltzer—Vizzy, which the brewer touts as having acerola cherry, a “superfruit” high in the antioxidant vitamin C. Molson Coors also recently introduced Coors Seltzer.
Topo Chico Hard Seltzer blends purified sparkling water, a gluten-free alcohol base and natural flavors, with minerals added for taste, according to the press release. Flavors will include Tangy Lemon Lime, Exotic Pineapple, Strawberry Guava and Tropical Mango. It will be available in a four-flavor 12-pack variety pack in slim cans.