Frist came alcoholic Topo Chico, then hard Fresca and, now, hard seltzers from the Simply juice brand. Coca-Cola (KO) - Get Coca-Cola Company Report and Molson Coors Beverage (TAP) - Get Molson Coors Beverage Company Class B Report have partnered to bring consumers a new line of alcoholic drinks under the Simply brand.
A brand many recognize from their childhood morning orange juice, Simply sells a number of fruit juices, lemonades and smoothies. Dubbed Simply Spiked Lemonade, the new product will come as a 12-pack of canned cocktails in strawberry lemonade, watermelon lemonade, blueberry lemonade and regular lemonade flavors.
Larger 24-ounce cans will also be available for standalone purchase although the companies are yet to announce prices. The entire line will launch sometime in the summer of 2022.
The brand is marketing it as a light summer cocktail — each 24-ounce can will have 5% alcohol by volume while an average glass of wine ranges between 11% and 13%.
What's Up With All These Canned Cocktails?
In the last year, Coca-Cola has been aggressively expanding its reach into the alcoholic space. It had already partnered with Molson Coors with a hard seltzer known as Topo Chico and, at the start of month, launched a lemon-flavored canned cocktail known as Fresca Mixed with Corona beer owner Constellation Brands STZ.
This comes at a time that many food and beverage insiders have dubbed the "canned cocktail craze" — the companies previously cited data saying that adult alternative beverage are expected to grow by 15% to 17% to become an $8-billion industry in the next three years.
"Over the past two years, we’ve seen success by shaking up existing categories with new brands that have clear, compelling points of difference, like Coca-Cola's Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, Vizzy Hard Seltzer and ZOA Energy Drink," Michelle St. Jacques, Molson Coors' chief marketing officer, said in a statement. "Now, we have a huge opportunity to leverage the power of Simply [...] to disrupt the full-flavor alcohol segment."
What Is It About Coke's Simply?
After its namesake Coke product, Simply is Coca-Cola's second-biggest name by both revenue and recognition. While Coca-Cola's juice, dairy and plant-based drink segment saw a sales drop of 9% in the last earnings release, the Simply brand generates the company $1 billion in revenue.
Canned cocktails, frequently fruity or sugar-loaded drinks very low in alcohol content, often come in fruit flavors. The Simply brand felt like a natural choice for its new product, according to Coca-Cola.
"The Coca-Cola Company and Molson Coors have a thriving relationship in North America," Dan White, Coca-Cola's chief of new revenue streams said in a statement. "[...] With this momentum, we are excited to expand our relationship with products inspired by another one of our most valuable brands."