Coke to launch first U.S. alcoholic drink

Global soft drink giant Coca-Cola is turning to the hard stuff for the first time ever in the U.S.

Coke is launching an alcoholic version of its Topo Chico sparkling water in the United States and is teaming up with Molson Coors.

The joint venture will help Coca-Cola, known the world over for its sugary namesake drinks, further diversify into alcoholic beverages and take that line of business into markets beyond Latin America and Japan.

Coke bought Topo Chico in 2017.

For its part, the tie-up will strengthen Molson Coors position in the market for low-alcohol spirits, including hard seltzers, which has seen a surge in demand especially by younger drinkers.

There are some estimates out there that predict the alcoholic seltzer water business could catapult to $2.5 billion by next year.

Coca-Cola and Molson Coors are looking to roll out the alcoholic beverage in the U.S. sometime in the first half of next year and plan to go head-to-head with the popular White Claw drink that shot to superstardom last summer.