The Coca-Cola Company is adding a new ingredient to its Fresca citrus soda: alcohol.
Corona’s Constellation Brands brewer is partnering with Coke to release a canned cocktail version called Fresca Mixed later this year.
In 2020, Coke released Topo Chico hard seltzer, its first canned alcoholic carbonated beverage.
In response to a request for comment on Friday, the Coca-Cola company referred The Washington Times back to its news release.
Bill Newlands, Constellation’s president and chief executive officer, said in the joint statement that Fresca responds to “consumer preferences for refreshment, flavor, and convenience” in a way that the companies hope to leverage in the alcohol market.
Constellation and Coke said in the statement that they are spiking Fresca because the popular diet soda is “experiencing a surge in popularity” among cocktail aficionados as a zero-calorie, no-sugar mixer.
The companies said Fresca Mixed will be “inspired by recipes created by Fresca fans from around the globe,” but did not confirm what flavors will be released.
Notable Fresca-based cocktails include Bravo television host Andy Cohen’s “Frequila,” a mix of tequila and Fresca.
Canned cocktail sales grew 53% last year and are projected to grow another 29% over the next three years, according to data from IWSR Drinks Analysis. Constellation estimates that the new Fresca Mixed will tap into an $8 billion market that is already outpacing hard seltzers in popularity.
Coke’s rival Pepsi entered the canned cocktail market last year with “HARD MTN DEW,” a sugar-free variant of its popular Mountain Dew soda with 5% alcohol by volume that it is developing with the Boston Beer Company.
Coke introduced Fresca in 1966 as a diet sugar-free alternative to its regular sodas.