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Coca-Cola to Launch Hard Seltzer in U.S. in First-Half 2021

Coca-Cola plans to launch a hard seltzer in the U.S. in the first half of next year, a media report says.

Coca-Cola  (KO) - Get Coca-Cola Company Report plans to launch its first hard seltzer in the U.S. in the first half of next year, the soft-drink giant's chief executive said.

CEO James Quincy told Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's "Mad Money," that the Atlanta company's move will follow consumer preferences. 

"In the old days people were much more regimented about the categories they stayed in," Quincy told Cramer on Monday night. 

"There wasn't so much blurring or mix and match by consumers. And I think these innovations including the hard seltzer are part of the consumer looking for new things." 

CNBC reported that Coke has launched Topo Chico Hard Seltzer in Mexico and will introduce it in Brazil this month. The U.S. launch will come in first-half 2021.

"Topo Chico Hard Seltzer is an experimental drink inspired by Topo Chico sparkling mineral water, which has been popular with many mixologists," the company had said in a July statement.

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Coke acquired the Topo Chico brand in October 2017. 

Topo Chico Hard Seltzer will be Coca-Cola's first alcoholic beverage product in the U.S since the 1980s. The beverage giant sold its wine business in 1983. 

In 2018 Coke introduced an alcoholic drink called Lemon-Do in Japan, CNBC reported.

The bubbly low-calorie quaff is a popular summer drink in the U.S. The many brands on the market include White Claw, Bud Light Seltzer and Corona Hard Seltzer.

In August, Coca-Cola cut its workforce, offering voluntary separation to at least 4,000 employees in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico as the soft-drink maker repositioned itself with a broader portfolio. 

Over the past few years Coke has expanded beyond its core soft-drink franchises to include coffee-infused sodas and energy drinks.

Shares of the company at last check were up 0.8% to $49.48.