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Coca-Cola to launch Topo Chico hard seltzer brand in Latin America

Coca-Cola has revealed its plans to launch Topo Chico Hard Seltzer into Latin America in 2021, as the trend for low-alcohol drinks continues to proliferate. According to a company statement, Coca-Cola is “committed to exploring new products in dynamic beverage categories, including hard seltzer.” As part of the move into the low-alcohol space, the beverage giant joins other players vying for market shares as popularity for hard seltzers increases.

Topo Chico Hard Seltzer is an experimental beverage 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, says Coca-Cola, and the company will share further details closer to the launch date. It is also eyeing US retailers next year.

According to Innova Market Insights, hard seltzers are a growing trend, which pinpointed the trend in North America late last year. According to its Consumer Lifestyle and Attitudes Survey 2018, nearly seven out of ten consumers across the countries surveyed (US, UK, France, Germany, China and Brazil) have reduced their sugar intake, making hard seltzers an attractive option for consumers with active lifestyles.

Hard seltzers were pegged as a key trend in March by Innova Market Insights, as consumers continually seek out low-sugar, better-for-you beverages. In addition, the market researcher also highlighted “Hello Hybrid” as a Top Ten Trend in 2020, with manufacturers blending taste and functionality. Blended beverages seeking to bridge health and adventure are booming in the FMCG sector.

In 2017, Coca-Cola acquired Topo Chico, a sparkling mineral water brand popular in Latin America and Texas, US. The alcohol version of its Topo Chico will be in the Americas next year, plunging the soft drinks giant into the space for alcoholic beverages.

Hard seltzers splash the summer beverage market

Flavored, low-alcohol sparkling water – hard seltzers – is certainly a trend to watch in the beverage market, driven by influences from the US. The beverage started to generate a real White Claw. White Claw’s new flavors for summer 2020 include pineapple and clementine and buzz in the US in May 2019 and became a cultural phenomenon in the summer of 2019, led by feature only 70 calories, down from the typical 100. Research by Innova Market Insights has found black cherry to be the most popular among White Claw consumers.

However, other brands are starting to shift their attention to the trend. Bud Light’s Super Bowl advertisement shone a spotlight on its brand new Bud Light Seltzer, rather than beer, and this past March, Leinenkugel’s debuted a beer-seltzer hybrid called the Spritzen in three fruit-inspired flavors. Other US brands competing for a share of the action include Smirnoff Pure, Henry’s and Bon & Viv.

Having taken the US by storm, the hard seltzer trend is slowly making its way into the UK marketplace, with brands like Kopparberg spotting an opportunity for success. Balans, Kopparberg’s preliminary product in the space, is described as the “UK’s first aqua spritz; a revolutionary alcohol-infused sparkling water with a hint of fruit taste.” Other brands starting to appear include Bodega Bay, Crooked and Drty Drinks.

The adventurous consumer will be interested in the flavor options of hard seltzers, lured in by interesting flavor pairings such as botanicals and concepts that toy with their senses, such as clear coffee.



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