Jan. 6, 2022 – Ready-to-drink spirits represented $741 million in U.S. retail-store sales in 2021 through Dec. 25, more than double the sales over the same period a year earlier, according to an analysis of Nielsen data by Bump Williams Consulting. 

For Coke, the venture presents a chance to earn additional revenue from a small brand—a strategy that differs from that of its rival PepsiCo, which is throwing one of its flagship soda brands into the alcohol arena. 

For Constellation, the deal is an opportunity to expand in the canned-cocktail category.

Constellation, whose brands include Corona and Modelo beer and Cooper & Thief wines, also sells Svedka Vodka Soda products.

Fresca—a tart, grapefruit-flavored, sugar-free soda—made its debut in 1966, following the successful launch of Coca-Cola’s first diet cola brand, Tab, according to a Coke spokeswoman. 

In Latin America, Coca-Cola markets a sugar-sweetened version. 

Fresca’s popularity peaked around 2006, when it represented less than 0.5% of soft-drink sales volume in the U.S., according to Beverage Digest. In 2018, Coke updated the brand’s U.S. packaging and flavors in an effort to kick-start its sales. Fresca’s U.S. sales volume is now about half what it was in 2006, according to Beverage Digest. But it is Coke’s fastest-growing soda brand in the U.S., Constellation said.