Topo Chico finally debuts its hard seltzer

1 Apr 2021

Molson Coors Beverage Company, which is exclusively manufacturing Topo Chico Hard Seltzer through a brand authorization agreement with Coca-Cola, finally released the concept onto shelves on March 29 after announcing the development of the brand in July 2020. Coca-Cola introduced Topo Chico Hard Seltzer in Mexico and Brazil last year.

Made with Topo Chico mineral water, the seltzer comes in four flavors: Strawberry Guava, Tangy Lemon Lime, Tropical Mango and Exotic Pineapple. Each flavor will have 4.7% alcohol by volume, 2 grams of sugar and 100 calories. The 12-pack Variety Pack (Slim Can), two 24oz singles, and one 16oz single can options will be available in nine U.S. states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and six metro areas including Boston, Chicago, New York City, Northern New Jersey, Seattle / Vancouver, Washington, and Washington D.C.

Topo Chico finally debuts its hard seltzer
Courtesy of Molson Coors Beverage Company

Seltzer sales doubled in the US to $4.1B in 2020 and what began as a fad has boomed into a full-blown movement with manufacturers from Coca-Cola to Spindrift and Constellation Brands to AB InBev get into the seltzer space to try and capture some of the fizzling market share. Even Monster energy drink brand is rumored to be looking into the hard seltzer space. Recently, the number of available brands has further increased as the American rapper Travis Scott’s launched his Cacti Hard at the end of March only to promptly sell out.

While this trend really took off in U.S., Europe is now hopping onto the trend as well. Following a successful trial in Mexico and New Zealand, Heineken announced it too will have a hard seltzer brand called Pure Piraña within European markets this summer. The drink will be available in Austria, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK, with other markets joining the hard seltzer trend throughout the year and into 2022.

Hard Seltzer continues to present a runway for growth to legacy beer companies whose traditional brew sales are flagging. Reports from IWSR in 2019 marked the year as the fourth in a row that beer volume sales decreased. Conversely, UBS predicts the seltzer market to spike 66% to reach $2.5 billion in 2021.

According to the New York Times, spending on spirits increased last year as the pandemic kept people cooped up, and there is little indication that this trend will reverse as economies begin opening up. Sales of premixed cocktails, particularly ready-to-drink products, rose 39.1% to $489 million in 2020, data from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) revealed earlier this year. The industry group noted that as restaurants and bars reopen, consumers will shift from at-home consumption back to on-premise sales, but there is substantial momentum to continue to bolster consumption. One particularly beneficial move by the U.S. government to support continued imbibing was new legislation that passed in 18 states to permit the sale of to-go cocktails on a permanent basis.

With demand for ready-to-drink seltzers remaining strong, competition will likely only increase in the space. However, for a late comer like Topo Chico, it will be an uphill battle to grab attention in a saturated market that remains dominated by Mark Anthony Brands-owned White Claw and Boston Beer’s Truly.

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