- Coca-Cola’s Simply brand is moving into cocktail mixers and mocktails with an offering called Simply Mixology that can be blended with or without alcohol, the company said in a blog post.
- The all-natural flavored juice beverages come in three varieties — Strawberry Guava Mojito, Lime Margarita and Peach Sour. The products, aimed at home consumers, are being sold in the refrigerated juice sections of grocery stores across the U.S.
- Coca-Cola’s launch of Simply Mixology joins similar offerings from PepsiCo as non-alcohol companies look for ways to make inroads into the alcohol category and expand the use of their product offerings.
Coca-Cola’s Simply brand, with nearly $2 billion in annual sales, is best known for juice, but the beverage also has extensions into other categories such as smoothies and lemonade. Now, Coca-Cola is following a similar playbook it has used with other core brands by adding products to its mocktail and alcohol mixer categories.
While Simply Mixology doesn’t contain alcohol, it allows Coca-Cola to have yet another product that plays in the category if the shopper wants it to. A consumer could add one of the three Mixology juices to alcohol to make a drink at home, or they could choose to eschew alcohol altogether and join fast-growing booze-free movements such as Dry January.
In a statement, Alex Ames, creative director for nutrition with Coca-Cola North America, noted Simply has been used as a mixer for 20 years in drinks like Simply Orange for a screwdriver, a Cape Codder with Simply Cranberry and a margarita with Simply Limeade.
Coca-Cola already has extensive insight into Simply’s popularity as a mixer — a decision that should increase the nascent product’s chances of success in the marketplace following its launch. By launching Simply Mixology, Coca-Cola is choosing to debut a product to attract further attention to Simply’s use in mixers.
“We always try to follow where the consumer is going while also delivering a variety of offerings that stay true to the Simply brand ethos,” said Josh Kroo, nutrition category lead with Coca-Cola North America. “The power of this brand — and what’s becoming our legacy — is how we deliver the goodness of fruit in the simplest way possible to meet a range of occasions throughout the day.”
Coca-Cola is no stranger to alcohol, but prior product iterations have seen the Atlanta-based beverage giant partner with other companies that have an intimate knowledge of the space to roll out boozy drinks. The partnerships have allowed Coca-Cola to take an already-established brand name in its portfolio and bring it into a new category, whereby the brand can further grow sales.
It has partnered with Constellation Brands on a Fresca Mixed cocktail. Molson Coors has worked with Coca-Cola on ready-to-drink spiked lemonades with Simply, and hard seltzer with its sparkling mineral water Topo Chico.
Coca-Cola also has joined with Brown-Forman on an RTD cocktail combining Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and the iconic soda brand. Jack and Coke have long been synonymous, with consumers and bartenders combining the liquids together for years, so it only made sense for the companies to capitalize on that popularity with their own ready-to-drink product.
Coca-Cola’s new Simply Mixology follows a similar path as its archrival PepsiCo. In 2021, PepsiCo introduced a line of premium, nonalcoholic cocktail mixers called Unmuddled that were designed for consumers seeking experimentation, flavor variety and a bar quality experience at home.
The launch came several months after PepsiCo introduced a new brand of nonalcoholic cocktail mixers called Neon Zebra designed to appeal to younger consumers spending more time at home who wanted to avoid complicated cocktail recipes or large-format mixers.
Keurig Dr Pepper also made a big bet last June on the rapidly growing nonalcoholic beverage category following its acquisition of ready-to-drink cocktail brand Atypique.