Coca-Cola, PepsiCo Expand Hard-Drink Deals

Jan. 28, 2022
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are expanding their partnerships with brewers to produce hard versions of their soft drinks.

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are expanding their partnerships with brewers to produce hard versions of their soft drinks.

Coca-Cola has announced a partnership with Molson Coors to produce, market and distribute Simply Hard Lemonade, an alcoholic version of the lemonade that’s part of its Simply juice drink lineup. This is the second such collaboration between Coca-Cola and Molson Coors; they made a similar deal on Topo Chico Hard Seltzer last September.

“Now, we have a huge opportunity to leverage the power of Simply – a brand known for real juice and big flavor – to disrupt the full-flavor alcohol segment in a way that’s never been done before,” Michelle St. Jacques, Molson Coors’ chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

The product is scheduled to launch this summer in regular, strawberry, watermelon and blueberry lemonade flavors, in slim-can variety 12 packs and standalone 24oz cans.

Meanwhile, PepsiCo and Boston Beer are on track to being Hard Mtn Dew to store shelves early this year, in a partnership that was announced last August. CNN Business reported Jan. 28 that Baja Blast, a Mtn Dew flavor that originated at Taco Bell and became a cult favorite, will join the initial lineup of hard versions of original, watermelon and black cherry Mtn Dew.

Boston Beer is pushing ahead with the new project even though it had a bad run last fall with its Truly Hard Seltzer. Overestimating demand led the company with millions of unsold cases that it eventually had to destroy, its chairman acknowledged to CNBC.

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