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A Deeper Look at Coca-Cola’s Emerging Business in Alcohol

In 2018 in Japan, The Coca-Cola Company launched Lemon-Dou, its first ready-to-drink alcohol beverage. Lemon-Dou was an experiment in Japan’s fast-growing Chu-Hai drinks category.

Lemon-Dou was also the company’s first entry in the alcohol beverage market since the late 1970s, when Coca-Cola owned a winemaker in California.

The company has a small yet growing portfolio of alcohol beverages. All were created with consumers in mind. The next addition is ready-to-drink Jack Daniel’s & Coca-Cola, inspired by the iconic bar cocktail. The pre-mixed cocktail is planned to first be offered in Mexico in late 2022.

“We keep consumers at the center of everything we do in expanding our portfolio,” said Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO James Quincey. “We are consumer-focused and offering more choices, including in rapidly expanding flavored alcohol beverages.”

Jack Daniel’s & Coca-Cola joins a portfolio of flavored alcohol beverages that uses company brands, including Lemon-Dou, which is currently available in Japan, China and the Philippines; Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, available in more than 20 markets; Schweppes Pre-Mixed Cocktails, currently available in Brazil; and the new Simply Spiked Lemonade and Fresca Mixed in the United States.

In the case of the United States, the company authorizes third parties to produce and sell alcohol beverages using company trademarks (Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, Simply Spiked Lemonade and Fresca Mixed).

Coca-Cola is well-known as the world’s leader in non-alcohol, ready-to-drink beverages. The company’s 200 master brands span from iconic sparkling beverages to water, sports drinks, teas, juices and coffee.

Whenever the company expands into new categories, it takes a disciplined and responsible approach, leveraging its scale to maximize impact and reach. In 2018, for example, Coca-Cola boosted its global presence in coffee through the acquisition of Costa Coffee.

Coca-Cola’s approach in alcohol focuses on three segments of flavored alcohol beverages, or FABs. All are ready-to-drink:

Hard seltzers (Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, Topo Chico Ranch Water Hard Seltzer, Topo Chico Margarita Hard Seltzer)

Hard alternatives (Lemon-Dou, Simply Spiked Lemonade)

Pre-mixed cocktails (Jack Daniel’s & Coca-Cola, Fresca Mixed, Schweppes Pre-mixed Cocktails)

At Coca-Cola, Khalil Younes is responsible for leading FABs. “We are strategically experimenting and learning in alcohol,” Younes said. “We are excited about the opportunities, but we also know it will require effort and patience.”

The Coca-Cola Company also recognizes that the entry in the alcohol category brings new responsibilities – ones it takes very seriously. The company will ensure any consumer who chooses to drink alcohol does so responsibly.

Coca-Cola will work with industry partners and other stakeholders to promote moderate consumption and support efforts to reduce harm.

To that end, the company has developed a comprehensive Policy on Alcohol Responsibility based on industry best practices. To learn more about the company’s approach to the responsible marketing and sale of alcohol, see our policy here.

“Our ambition is to grow our brands in a responsible and sustainable way to those who choose to consume and are over the legal purchase and drinking age.” Younes said.

Source: Coca-Cola

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