Hard Mtn Dew to launch through a PepsiCo-Boston Beer partnership

27 Aug 2021

From a new partnership between Big Beer and Big Soda comes Hard Mtn Dew, a flavored malt beverage with 5% ABV. The alcoholic drink will be available to consumers beginning in early 2022.

The arrangement of this partnership dictates that Boston Beer will develop and produce the new malt beverage PepsiCo will be responsible for selling, delivering, and merchandising the product.

Hard Mtn Dew to launch through a PepsiCo-Boston Beer partnership

Ready-to-drink and malt beverages have been in vogue for several years now and are a well-known category for Boston Beer, which produces Truly Hard Seltzer, one of the dominant brands on the hard seltzer market alongside Mark Anthony Brands' White Claw. By adding Hard Mtn Dew, the beer company is confirming that it is a long-term decision to move away from its flagship Sam Adams brew in favor of more contemporary beverages. Already, the enterprise has Twisted Tea and Angry Orchard Hard Cider in addition to its hard seltzer product.

Nor is Boston Beer a stranger to partnerships. Recently, it partnered with Beam Suntory to bottle some of its iconic spirits into RTD beverages. Now, this new alliance with PepsiCo underscores just how alluring the RTD category is for beverage makers.

Under the guidance of CEO Ramon Laguarta, PepsiCo has made strides to become a modern snack and beverage company by making big plays for younger consumers that are interested in better-for-you convenient offerings rather than legacy brands. However, this is its first step across the line into the alcohol category. This play has long been in the works for PepsiCo that hinted last year that it would investigate the adult libations market and determine if it wanted to offer products in that category. Then, last summer, the company filed a trademark application under its Rockstar energy brand to register the name as a brand that would sell alcoholic malt beverages and hard seltzer. Clearly, this first alcohol-adjacent partnership is not under the Rockstar brand, which leaves room for additional innovation should Hard Mtn Dew take off.

Starting with Mtn Dew may have been a wise move for PepsiCo as the brand is well known and remains popular despite slipping soda sales. The company has already successfully parlayed the brand name into energy drinks, another growing category. With this latest move, PepsiCo is offering the Mtn Dew brand name to consumers for yet another occasion, and it is doing so in a way that allows the company to ride the wave of the brand that will more than likely bring an initial wave of customers in to try the product.

Plus, this malt beverage will now provide PepsiCo with a product to compete against its historic rival Coca-Cola which launched Topo Chico Hard Seltzer last year in partnership with Molson Coors.

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