Coca-Cola and Jack Daniels owner Brown-Forman announced a new agreement on Monday to distribute a ready-to-drink Jack & Coke cocktail.
The product — which channels the spirit of drink ordered at bars seemingly for decades — will boast about 5% alcohol. There will be full sugar and zero sugar options.
The companies stated that the rollout will begin in late 2022 in Mexico, followed by “select” markets worldwide in 2023.
The cans will have “clear responsibility symbols” to prevent under-aged drinking, the companies noted in a joint statement, which also said they are committed to “responsible marketing practices.”
“This relationship brings together two classic American icons to deliver consumers a taste experience they love in a way that is consistent, convenient, and portable,” Brown-Forman CEO Lawson Whiting said.
Whiting will be appearing exclusively on Yahoo Finance Live in the 9:00am ET hour on Tuesday to discuss the rollout.
“We keep consumers at the center of everything we do as we continue to develop our portfolio as a total beverage company,” Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey said in the statement, “and that includes new products with our iconic Coca-Cola brand.”
For Coca-Cola, the new product marks the company’s long-awaited serious arrival to the alcohol market. While typical Coca-Cola internal bureaucracy has held the company back in the past from going whole hog into alcohol, a logical extension of its business, the mindset has changed under Quincey as he looks to boost sales by selling drinks for different use cases.
Earlier this year, Coca-Cola inked a deal with beer and wine maker Constellation Brands to distribute alcoholic Fresca.
“First of all, Fresca fits in with a lot of consumer trends,” Constellation Brands CEO Bill Newlands told Yahoo Finance Live about the launch. “It’s refreshing, it’s convenient, and it’s low calorie obviously. We were surprised that over 50% of Fresca drinkers already mix it with alcoholic beverages. So it seemed like a natural fit to be able to bring that to market in ready-to-serve form.”
Around the same time, Coca-Cola also unveiled a deal with Molson Coors to roll out Topo Chico hard seltzer.
“We are excited about the potential for this brand,” Molson Coors CEO Gavin Hattersley told Yahoo Finance Live about the drink.
The growth of the ready-to-drink cocktail market sheds light on why Coca-Cola has finally gotten serious about exploiting the opportunity: The total volume of sales of spirits-based ready-to-drink cocktails surged 226% from 2016 to 2021, according to data from Mintel. In 2021, about 50% of adults over the age of 22 consumed a ready-to-drink cocktail, Mintel’s data shows, up from 40% in 2018.
Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.
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