One of the largest beer companies in the United States signed a deal with Coca-Cola to distribute its upcoming hard seltzer brand Topo Chico.
What Happened: Molson Coors Beverage Company TAP announced an exclusive partnership with Coca-Cola Company KO to manufacture, market and distribute the Topo Chico hard seltzer brand in the U.S.
“This is another significant step in growing our above premium portfolio and becoming a major competitor in the rapidly-growing hard seltzer segment, both key components of our revitalization plan,” said Molson Coors CEO Gavin Hattersley.
Coca-Cola acquired the popular Topo Chico mineral water company in 2017 and announced plans to launch a hard seltzer and announced plans to launch a hard seltzer under the brand in July.
Topo Chico hard seltzer will be launched nationwide in the first half of 2021.
Why It’s Important: Nielsen reported sales of hard seltzer quadrupled year-over-year in June. Beverage industry research firm IWSR expects consumption to triple by 2023. Half of alcohol consumers in the U.S. consume hard seltzer on a weekly basis.
The volume of hard seltzer has already passed vodka, the largest spirits category in the U.S. Hard seltzer has a 2.6% market share of alcohol in the U.S. currently, compared to 0.85% last year.
Molson Coors also owns Vizzy and Coors Seltzer hard seltzer brands. Vizzy launched in April and has been a top 10 grown brand since August according to Nielsen.
The growth of Truly, one of the top two hard seltzer brands, has propelled shares of Boston Beer Company SAM up 138% in 2020. The other top hard seltzer brand White Claw is privately held by owner Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
The partnership is between two beverage companies that have seen their shares fall double digits in 2020. Coca-Cola shares are down 11% in 2020, while Molson Coors shares have fallen 38%.
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