In just a one-paragraph announcement July 30, Coca-Cola Co. said it will test market an alcoholic drink, a hard seltzer, in Latin America “later this year.”
Starting with “Coca-Cola Company is committed to exploring new products in dynamic beverage categories,” and ending with “Topo Chico Hard Seltzer will be offered in select cities in Latin America,” Coke re-entered the alcoholic market after either 37 years or two.
The company previously owned a wine business that it sold in 1983, reports the Wall Street Journal. In 2018, Coke introduced a carbonated, lemon-flavored alcoholic drink in Japan called Lemon-Do. Topo Chico is a 125-year-old brand of mineral water from Mexico, which Coke has owned since 2017 and extended into flavored sparkling waters.
The Journal said Coca-Cola may bring the beverage to the U.S. if the test market works out. The newspaper cited Bump Williams Consulting Co. saying Americans spent $3 billion on hard seltzer in U.S. retail stores in the 52 weeks ended July 11, up 241% from a year earlier.
The market is dominated by White Claw, owned by Mark Anthony Brands, and Truly, made by Boston Beer Co. Anheuser-Busch introduced Bud Light Seltzer earlier this year. Corona Hard Seltzer is a more recent entry.