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Coca-Cola plans to press on with alcoholic beverage ‘experiments’

Coca-Cola has dipped its toe in the alcohol beverage industry of late, signing deals with both Molson Coors and Constellation Brands over the last couple of years. It’s an avenue the drinks giant intends to continue exploring, according to chairman and CEO James Robert B. Quincey. 

Coca-Cola Simply spiked lemonade
Credit: Coca-Cola/Molson Coors

Speaking at the Sanford C. Bernstein Strategic Decisions conference last week, Mr Quincey said that Coca-Cola will continue what he described as its “experiments” in the alcohol beverage industry, with an eye on whether it could establish any of these further.

“We have not reached that stage yet, but the experiments are interesting,” he revealed.

Among these experiments are a partnership with beer giant Molson Coors, with whom it previously launched Top Chico Hard Seltzer. Earlier this year, Coca-Cola and Molson Coors teamed up once more, announcing the launch of a range of 5% ABV, RTD spiked lemonade expressions under Coca-Cola’s Simply brand.

The soft drinks giant also has a range of spirits-based ready-to-drink canned cocktails in the works with Constellation Brands, which is set to launch later this year.

Mr Quincey noted the industry’s attractive margins when explaining why Coca-Cola is exploring the space, adding “It’s largely ingredients we buy anyway, cans, water, lemons, we only needed to buy the alcohol”.

Meanwhile in Brazil, the beverage giant is preparing to release a line of ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails.

“Brazil is a place where the licensing laws are relatively soft,” Mr Quincey explained. “So, there’s a big overlap in the distribution footprint between the soft drink industry and the alcohol industry.”

While Coca-Cola is still very much in the experimental phase of learning how far it can push any alcohol beverage offering, Mr Quincey was upbeat about the sector’s potential.

“If they work, and we can imagine a vision that if it’s successful can be relevant to the core company, then we’ve got something that’s worth talking about.”

Read More: Constellation’s Fresca deal sweetens 25% drop in wine and spirits.


H/T: Food Business News

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