Constellation Brands, Inc. has signed an agreement with Coca-Cola in the US, which will see the launch of Fresca Mixed – a new line of spirit-based, ready-to-drink cocktails.
The initiative will mark the entry of the Fresca brand into the alcoholic beverage segment.
The drinks will be produced and marketed by Constellation and distributed through Constellation’s three-tier distribution networks, leveraging the company’s consumer knowledge, brand-building capabilities, beverage alcohol expertise, and strong retail and trade relationships to secure national distribution.
According to the group, which manages alcoholic beverages such as Corona and Modelo, the Fresca Mixed line of products is 'well-aligned to a number of emerging consumer trends.'
Adult Alternative Beverages, including ready-to-drink cocktails, represents nearly an $8 billion segment projected to grow at a 15-17% compound annual growth rate over the next three years, with trusted consumer brands commanding a significant share of the market, according to Constellation Brands market research.
Bill Newlands, president and chief executive officer of Constellation Brands, "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."
Mallika Monteiro, Constellation Brands’ chief growth, strategy and digital officer, added, "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."
Fresca is currently the fastest-growing soft drink trademark in Coca-Cola’s US portfolio, according to a recent Nielsen report.
Used by consumers as a cocktail mixer, a soft drink, and a zero-calorie, zero-sugar sparkling soda water, a study from Bev360 in December showed that Fresca is considered the most unique and different product in the soft drink category.
Fresca Mixed cocktails will continue its existing reputation as a mixer for alcoholic drinks by balancing the Fresca flavour with quality spirit bases rooted in Constellation Brands' expertise.
Fresca Mixed is expected to launch this year, starting with cocktails using real spirits and inspired by recipes created by Fresca fans from around the globe.
Dan White, chief of new revenue streams, Coca-Cola North America operating unit, stated, "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.
"Our new relationship with Constellation Brands is ideal due to their consumer-focused approach to brand building, expansive distribution network, and distilled distribution expertise. With the launch of Fresca Mixed by Constellation, people will have an entirely new way to enjoy the taste of Fresca, now mixed with real spirits."