Coca-Cola Co. is wading further into the market for boozy beverages with an alcoholic version of its popular Topo Chico mineral water.
The soft drink giant, which aspires to be a “total beverage company,” said it will offer Topo Chico Hard Seltzer in “select cities” in Latin America later this year. Coca-Cola cited Topo Chico’s popularity in cocktails and mixed drinks. The company also confirmed to Bloomberg News that it plans to offer the product in the U.S. in 2021.
The Mexican brand, which has risen to cult status in the U.S., has helped Coca-Cola provide its own product to capture the fast-growing market for unsweetened, fizzy drinks. The hard seltzer version will be Coke’s first expansion into the alcoholic market since it started selling a canned alcoholic beverage in Japan in 2018.
The Atlanta-based company wants to diversify its beverage portfolio as consumers migrate away from sugary soft drinks. Chief Executive Officer James Quincey has acknowledged that the company was slow to jump on the carbonated-water trend — exemplified by National Beverage Corp.’s LaCroix and PepsiCo Inc.’s Bubly.
Hard seltzer, meanwhile, has also been enjoying a wave of popularity, with drinks such as White Claw catching on with consumers who want a lower-calorie and not-too-sweet way to imbibe. Boston Beer Co., the maker of Samuel Adams, called out its Truly Hard Seltzer as a driver of sales growth when it reported earnings last week. Molson Coors Beverage Co., meanwhile, is preparing to launch its own line called Coors Seltzer.