Coca-Cola partners with Brown-Forman to launch Jack Daniel’s RTD cocktail

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Coca-Cola partners with Brown-Forman to launch Jack Daniel’s RTD cocktail
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Dive Brief:

  • Brown-Forman and Coca‑Cola plan to introduce a ready-to-drink cocktail combining Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and the iconic soda brand, the companies said in a statement.
  • The beverage, available in sugar and no sugar options, will be sold in markets around the world. The initial launch is planned for Mexico in late 2022.
  • The Jack and Coke RTD cocktail is the latest move by Coca-Cola to become a bigger player in alcoholic offerings and evolve into a total beverage company beyond its soda, water, tea and sports drinks.

After Coca-Cola teamed up with Molson Coors to create Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, which rolled out nationwide in 2022, the Atlanta beverage giant has meaningfully accelerated its presence in the alcoholic beverage space.

The companies further expanded their partnership with the debut of RTD spiked lemonades based on the soda giant’s chilled juice brand Simply. The alcoholic beverage, called Simply Spiked Lemonade, arrived in stores this month.

In addition to working with Molson Coors, Coca-Cola is partnering with Constellation Brands, the brewer of Corona and other beers in the U.S., to launch RTD cocktails through its Fresca brand.

Now, Coca-Cola is taking its presence in the category a step further with what amounts to a natural pairing between two liquids already synonymous together in Jack Daniel’s and Coke.

Increasingly, consumers want convenience and having the beverage premade in a can will address that need, whether the individual is at home or away. It also allows the companies to tap into the rapidly growing RTD category, an area Coca-Cola is known for with its portfolio of brands like Diet Coke, Minute Maid juice, BodyArmor sports drink and Gold Peak tea.

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RTDs ranked as the top adult beverage that respondents anticipate buying more of this year, according to Drizzly. The alcohol e-commerce firm also found 73% of respondents said they would most likely enjoy RTDs at home. “The rising popularity of ready-to-drink cocktails isn’t slowing down anytime soon,” Cathy Lewenberg, Drizly’s chief operating officer, declared last month.

Coca-Cola is not the only beverage company with an association to soda aiming to capture a portion of that growth by moving outside of its roots into alcohol. PepsiCo has launched a Hard Mtn Dew alcoholic offering as part of a partnership with Boston Beer.

For Brown-Forman, the new drink is another way to expand the places and individuals who consume its drinks. The spirit and wine company, which launched its first Jack Daniel’s RTD product more than 30 years ago, rolled out a line of Jack Daniel’s Canned Cocktails in 2020, including one with cola. Partnering with Coke and its global reach was a logical next step. It’s uncertain what will happen to Brown-Forman’s own cola offering.

“This relationship brings together two classic American icons to deliver consumers a taste experience they love in a way that is consistent, convenient, and portable,” Lawson Whiting, president and CEO of Brown-Forman, said in a statement. “Coca‑Cola perfectly complements Jack Daniel’s and our existing RTD offerings, enabling us to accelerate expansion and continue to grow our business around the world.”

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