Coca-Cola is teaming up with Jack Daniel’s distiller Brown-Forman to make a Jack-and-Coke cocktail in a can.
It marks the fourth new alcoholic drink in Coke’s portfolio in less than two years, but the first pairing for its namesake soda. The Atlanta-based beverage giant has already partnered with Molson Coors Beverage on Topo Chico Hard Seltzer and Simply Spiked Lemonade, which launched this month, and Constellation Brands on Fresca Mixed Cocktails.
As soda consumption declines, Coke isn’t the only beverage maker pushing its soft drink brands into alcohol through partnerships. Rival PepsiCo launched Hard Mtn Dew earlier this year through a partnership with Sam Adams brewer Boston Beer.
Brewers also benefit from the partnerships with Coke and Pepsi by diversifying their portfolios away from beer, while spirits companies can use well-known brands to market more canned cocktails. Brown-Forman has already been selling canned cocktails for more than three decades, including a Jack-and-Coke drink made with generic cola. But the category has gotten a boost in recent years as alcohol consumers look for convenient options.
Ready-to-drink beverages have been the fastest-growing alcohol segment since 2018, stealing market share from beer, according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. Hard seltzers are the largest part of the category, but spirits-based canned cocktails have been gaining ground.
The Jack Daniel’s and Coca-Cola canned cocktail will launch in Mexico later this year before expanding to other markets.
A zero-sugar version of the canned cocktail will also be available. Coke CEO James Quincey predicted in early 2021 that Zero Sugar Coke would be the biggest source of growth for the company over the next few years.
Packaging for the new drink will show both the logos for both Coke and Jack Daniel, as well as symbols showing it’s only for people of legal drinking age. As soda brands push into the alcohol category, the National Beer Wholesalers Association and other industry players have expressed concerns about underage drinking.
As Coke broadens its alcohol portfolio, the company said that it developed a policy around marketing and selling its alcoholic drinks responsibly. The approach includes only targeting consumers above the legal purchasing age in its advertising and refraining from implying that consumers receive any health benefits from those products.
This story first appeared on CNBC.com.