Retail

Coca-Cola and Molson Coors to make spiked lemonade under Simply brand


Simply Spiked Lemonade

Courtesy: Molson Coors

Coca-Cola and Molson Coors Beverage are teaming up again, this time for a new line of alcoholic drinks under the Simply brand.

The two companies announced Tuesday that Molson Coors will launch the Simply Spiked Lemonade variety pack this summer.

Simply is the third brand that Coke has added alcohol to recently, joining Topo Chico and Fresca. Coke has partnered with Molson Coors on the U.S. launch of Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, which began rolling out domestically in early 2021, with a nationwide launch this month. Molson Coors has said Topo Chico could become a top-three hard seltzer brand, joining White Claw and Truly at the top.

Prior to Topo Chico Hard Seltzer’s launch, Coke hadn’t been in the alcohol business since the 1980s. But that brand’s early success is likely responsible for Coke doubling down on the category. Earlier this month, the company announced it is working with Constellation Brands for its upcoming Fresca canned cocktails.

It’s the latest beverage partnership that blurs the lines between drink categories in the hunt for growth. Nonalcoholic beverage manufacturers are diversifying their portfolios as soda consumption shrinks and new regulated beverage markets, like CBD-infused drinks, are on the horizon. Coke’s rival PepsiCo is rolling out Hard Mtn Dew with Boston Beer next month. Likewise, brewers are under pressure to expand their offerings as U.S. beer consumption shrinks.

In Coke’s third quarter, its nutrition, juice, dairy and plant-based beverages’ division saw volume climb 12%. The Atlanta-based company doesn’t break out the results for the Simply brand, which includes juices, lemonade, smoothies and plant-based milks. However, Coke said Tuesday that Simply is its second-largest brand by revenue, trailing only its namesake soda, and that its products can be found in half of U.S. consumers’ fridges.

Simply Spiked Lemonade will be sold in 12-can variety packs, as well as 24-ounce stand-alone cans for some flavors. The variety pack’s flavors will include strawberry lemonade, watermelon lemonade, blueberry lemonade and signature lemonade.

Shares of Coke were off 1.7% in early trading, while Molson Coors stock fell 1.4%.



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