Coca-Cola to launch alcoholic Topo Chico Hard Seltzer

The Coca-Cola Co. said Thursday it will launch an alcoholic Topo Chico Hard Seltzer later this year.

“The Coca-Cola Company is committed to exploring new products in dynamic beverage categories, including hard seltzer. Topo Chico Hard Seltzer is an experimental drink inspired by Topo Chico sparkling mineral water, which has been popular with many mixologists,” the company said.

Topo Chico Hard Seltzer will be offered in select cities in Latin America later this year.  The company said it would share more details closer to launch.

Coca-Cola acquired the U.S. rights to the Topo Chico premium sparkling water brand from Arca Continental, S.A.B. de C.V. in 2017 for $220 million.

Coca-Cola’s is transforming its organization under its “Beverages for Life” strategy, “supported by a refreshed culture focused on a growth mindset,” CEO James Quincey told analysts on July 21. “We are already well on our way down this path and seeing good results. The pandemic is prompting us to move even faster.”

Coca-Cola recently announced it is shutting down its Odwalla juice brand, which it had acquired in 2001.

“We are shifting to prioritizing fewer but bigger and stronger brands across various consumer needs,” Quincey told analysts. “At the same time, we need to do a better job nurturing and growing smaller, more enduring propositions and exiting some zombie brands not just zombie SKUs [stock keeping units]. As a reference point, of our 400 master brands, more than half are single-country brands with little to no scale. The total combined revenue of those brands is approximately 2% of our total. They’re growing slower than the company average but each one still requires resources and investments. So in the case of a brand like Odwalla and its chilled direct store delivery, which has struggled over the last several years, we started to stop operations effective July 31. This gives us the flexibility to support our investments in brands like Minute Maid and Simply and to continue to scale rising stars like Topo Chico.”

“We believe the best way forward is to be more choiceful and target bigger, more scalable bets and be disciplined in our experimentation,” Quincey added.

By David Allison  – Editor, Atlanta Business Chronicle

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