Topo Chico Hard Seltzer is breaking out the bottles.
In a segment long dominated and defined by slim cans, the hard seltzer that’s inspired by the taste of Topo Chico Mineral Water is unveiling 12-ounce bottles of its strawberry guava flavor to consumers in seven markets by Thanksgiving.
“Topo Chico Mineral Water is known for its glass bottles. People look for this bottle. They love this bottle,” says Allison Miller, associate marketing manager for the brand. “There’s something incredibly special about drinking Topo Chico Hard Seltzer straight from the bottle. We can't wait to see consumers get their hands on them at holiday parties this season and out at bars and restaurants in early 2022.”
The bottles will initially launch in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas, as well as the Chicago area.
Longer term, packaging the hard seltzer in bottles is an aggressive play to court drinkers in the on-premise, where the brand is seeking to put its stamp on a channel that’s still figuring out how best to sell hard seltzer.
While bars and restaurants have beefed up their hard seltzer selections in response to consumer demand, they’ve struggled with how to serve it, sometimes resorting to pouring in glasses or, in some cases, putting it on draft.
“The industry isn’t really sure how to serve hard seltzer. With our new glass bottles, Topo Chico Hard Seltzer is creating a unique and premium experience for consumers,” Miller says. “We think our glass bottles are going to change how people think about drinking hard seltzer.”
The bottles have the potential to change how people consume hard seltzer at home, as well, she says, noting that retailer demand for bottles of Topo Chico Hard Seltzer in launch markets has surpassed expectations.
“We expect a lot of people to share pictures of themselves clinking their bottles together this holiday season,” she says.
The launch comes as Topo Chico Hard Seltzer – which Molson Coors produces, distributes and markets as part of a brand authorization agreement with The Coca-Cola Company – continues to win share since it was launched nine months ago in 16 markets.
And for the first time, Molson Coors is creating the hard seltzer in its own facilities, rather than working with a third party. The beverage maker has invested millions into its Milwaukee and Fort Worth breweries within the last year to increase its hard seltzer production capabilities fourfold.
The introduction of Topo Chico Hard Seltzer’s bottles comes as the brand is preparing for its national launch in January, as well as the planned debut of its margarita hard seltzer variety pack. Molson Coors also plans to launch the brand in Canada in 2022.
The launches represent Molson Coors’ bullishness on Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, which the company has said can be a Top 3-hard seltzer brand in the U.S. Meanwhile, Molson Coors continues to gain share with the fastest-growing hard seltzer portfolio in the U.S.
“There’s a lot of fun stuff coming.” Miller says. “Topo Chico Hard Seltzer is here to stay.”