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Beverage Licensing: Constellation Partners With Coca Cola on Fresca Cocktails

By Allison Watkinson

TLL Reporter

The Coca-Cola Company has signed a brand authorization agreement with Constellation Brands to launch new ready-to-drink cocktails.

The upcoming beverage is called Fresca Mixed. It is based on Coca-Cola’s American soft-drink Fresca. Fresca is flavored with grapefruit and is frequently used as a cocktail mixer.

Fresca Mixed aims to appeal to consumers searching for ready-to-drink cocktails that bridge the gap between hard seltzers and full-flavored cocktails.

“As we emerge from the pandemic and look to long-term growth, we recognize that we must evolve our business models to address the entire beverage experience,” said Dan White, Chief of new revenue streams from the Coca-Cola North America Operating Unit. “We created new revenue streams to do just that—to identify a broader range of revenue opportunities for the company beyond our traditional ready-to-drink beverage products.”

In 2018, Coca-Cola first entered the alcohol category with the launch of Lemon-Dou in Japan. The company announced a relationship with Molson Coors in 2020 for Topo Chico Hard Seltzer in the U.S.

The initial success of Topo Chico Hard Seltzer showed that consumers will buy recognizable beverage brands in the RTD market.

“Third-party relationships with licensed alcohol manufacturers show how we are following the consumer, taking an agile, experimentative approach to expanding our brands’ reach based on the evolving landscape,” said White.

“The flavored alcohol beverage category is unique as there are synergies with our existing business models in various markets around the world. With the combination of a familiar, loved brand and strong distribution and market presence, we believe people will love the Fresca brand in this new category.”

Constellation Brands will produce, market and distribute Fresca Mixed with high-quality spirit bases for launch later this year. Constellation is a well-known Fortune 500 company that represents brands such as Corona, Modelo and SVEDKA.

“The Coca-Cola Company and Constellation Brands have a shared passion for building some of the world’s most loved brands and for building the best-in-class beverage experiences,” said White.

“Constellation’s consumer-focused approach, entrepreneurial spirit, expansive distribution network and distilled distribution expertise make them an ideal choice to bring Fresca Mixed to market.”

The $8 billion RTD cocktail and adult alternative beverages segment of the market is projected to grow around 15% over the next three years. The alcohol-based RTD category is projected to grow at an annual rate of more than 33% by 2025.

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