Coca-Cola is planning to use the Topo Chico brand as a platform to extend into the booming hard seltzer category, the company announced today.
In a statement published on its website, Coca-Cola stated that it is “committed to exploring new products in dynamic beverage categories, including hard seltzer.”
The statement continued: “Topo Chico Hard Seltzer is an experimental drink inspired by Topo Chico sparkling mineral water, which has been popular with many mixologists. Topo Chico Hard Seltzer will be offered in select cities in Latin America later this year. We will share more details closer to launch.”
The brand shared an image of Topo Chico Hard Seltzer in a can in a flavor called Tangy Lemon Lime. Further details on product, branding and distribution were not available.
Coke acquired Topo Chico, founded in Mexico in 1895, through its Venturing & Emerging Brands (VEB) unit for a reported fee of $220 million. The brand markets a variety of carbonated beverages in the U.S., but is best known for its sparkling mineral water sold in 12 oz. glass bottles. Arca Continental, the parent company which has bottled and distributed Topo Chico for the last 30 years, is Coke’s second-largest Latin American bottling partner.
According to data from IRI, through June 30, Topo Chico has seen seltzer MULO sales (including c-stores) increase 41.8% year-over-year to more than $191 million.
In moving into hard seltzer, Coca-Cola is continuing to follow through on its mission to evolve into a “total beverage company,” as frequently noted by CEO James Quincey. However, it is also recognizing an opportunity to take a piece of a thriving beverage alcohol segment dominated by brands like White Claw and Truly but increasingly eyed by the major beer conglomerates as a growth driver. Launched earlier this year by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the Bud Light Seltzer family of products has posted $172.6 million in year-to-date sales through July 12.