Constellation Brands on Thursday announced an agreement with The Coca-Cola Company to produce and market Fresca Mixed, a line of RTD cocktails based on Coke’s citrus-flavored soft drink.
Constellation said its research shows adult alternative beverages as an $8 billion segment that’s projected to grow 15%-17% annually over the next three years, “with trusted consumer brands commanding a significant share of the market.”
Fresca would seem to be one of those trusted brands, with Constellation noting it's now “the fastest growing soft drink trademark in The Coca-Cola Company’s U.S. portfolio,” according to Nielsen research.
Much of the brand’s popularity already stems from “its credentials as a popular mixer that lifts all spirits,” Constellation stated.
For Coca-Cola, Fresca Mixed represents its second soft drink line extension into alcoholic beverages, following last year’s highly successful regional launch of Topo Chico Hard Seltzer by Molson Coors. That brand’s variety pack of four flavors has just gone national, backed by a tripled marketing investment and a national ad campaign using TV, online video, podcasts, paid and organic social media, and social influencer marketing.
Topo Chico Hard Seltzer has also just introduced a ranch water flavor in nine states (Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas), backed by its own campaign in online video, paid social, and influencer marketing. And a margarita flavor is coming soon.
Topo Chico Hard Seltzer’s target audience is the “diverse, urban-dwelling, 25–34-year-old drinker,” and its agencies are ICF Next, Volt, Droga5, Volt and Connect.
Constellation Brands’ announcement of Fresca Mixed came as it released third quarter results showing a 5% decrease in net sales overall, but a 4% increase in beer sales -- driven by the continued success of Medelo Especiale, its Mexican beer which only began advertising to non-Hispanic consumers four years ago. Modelo Especiale “continues to be the #1 brand in the high end, and #1 brand share gainer in the entire U.S. beer category in IRI dollar sales,” the company said.
Constellation’s Mexican brands, which also include Corona, will get a boost in the next few years as Constellation also announced it will spend $5 billion to $5.5 billion on capital expenditures from fiscal 2023 to fiscal 2026, including a new brewery.
Even before that vote of faith by Constellation, Modelo was in the midst of a big week as the official beer sponsor of the College Football Playoff series.
In addition to upcoming weekend activations for fans attending Monday’s championship game in Indianapolis, the brand has launched a “Modelo Special Teams, Special Rewards Sweepstakes” in conjunction with former football star Desmond Howard.
If a player game returns a punt for a touchdown during the game, as Howard famously did as a Michigan player against Ohio State 30 years ago, 300 entrants will win “free beer for the entire 2022 college football season” (actually, a $108 gift card).
Whether or not such a punt return occurs, a grand prize winner will win a three-day for two to the 2023 national championship game in Los Angeles.