- Molson Coors has debuted its first nonalcoholic ready-to-drink cocktail line, Roxie, which aims to recreate the craft cocktail experience. It is sold exclusively online.
- The drink is available in three flavors: Lost In The Mango, Forbidden Pineapple and Ripe With Passionfruit. Each contains 90 calories per 12 ounce can. The brand is aimed at 21- to 34-year-olds, Molson Coors said in a company blog.
- RTD cocktails are one of the current driving forces of innovation in the beverage space. In releasing a nonalcoholic option, Molson Coors is capitalizing on the growing number of people who are choosing to moderate their drinking habits or abstaining altogether.
With Roxie, Molson Coors is tapping into several trends that signal an evolution in how consumers consume beverages.
The company said in a statement it wanted to create a beverage for consumers who choose not to drink by making something similar to what they might order at a bar. The beverage giant said it worked with bartenders and mixologists — in tandem with beverage incubator L.A. Libations, in which it owns a minority stake — on constructing a memorable beverage.
“Roxie is inspired by flavors like spices, cardamon and lemongrass to add complexity and intrigue and delivers a true craft cocktail experience,” Jamie Wideman, vice president of innovation at Molson Coors, wrote on the company’s blog. “Roxie drinkers can feel like they belong at the party while drinking something complex and delicious out of the can, on the rocks or dressed up with their favorite garnish.”
By releasing the drink online only — a first for Molson Coors — the company can also test the waters with the new product and see how it performs as a direct-to-consumer offering before launching it in stores. Wideman wrote on the blog he envisions more of that happening in the future.
“Using online and social platforms allows us to hear consumer feedback and innovate off that feedback quickly,” Wideman said.
The internet is increasingly the avenue many consumers use to purchase beverages. Alcohol e-commerce sales are projected to increase 66% to be worth more than $42 billion by 2025, according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. And the nonalcoholic beverage category is expected to grow by 27.6% among 21- to 24-year-olds by 2025, according to IWSR research cited in Molson Coors’ press release.
An increasing number of consumers are shifting away from alcohol for both health and cost reasons. According to a Gallup poll conducted last summer, 40% of U.S adults say they do not consume beverages like liquor, wine or beer, a 5% increase since 2019.
Molson Coors began signaling its interest in expanding into the nonalcoholic space in 2020, when it rolled out several better-for-you beverage options including probiotic seltzer Huzzah and diet soda MadVine. Early this year, it will also launch Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0%, a zero-proof variety of its Italian lager.
RTD cocktails are top of mind for alcohol makers in 2023, which will see new products such as Molson Coors’ Topo Chico Spirited, in collaboration with Coca-Cola. Beverage Marketing Corporation analyst Nathan Greene told Food Dive he would “not be surprised if RTD spirits were the largest single entity” in the alcohol space in a decade.
For consumers who want the taste of their favorite libations without the effects of alcohol, the RTD mocktail space is rife with options. PepsiCo has debuted several mixer brands, including Unmuddled — which comes in Lemon Mint, Fiery Pineapple and Spiced Mandarin flavors — and an offering made for margaritas, daquiris, mojitos and whiskey sours called Neon Zebra. It also launched RTD mocktails under its Bubly sparkling water brand last summer. In 2021 actress Blake Lively launched a line of nonalcoholic mixers, Betty Buzz, designed to be enjoyed with or without alcohol. And pop star Katy Perry launched De Soi, a line of zero proof apéritifs containing adaptogens.