Coca-Cola enters premium spirits arena with mixers launch

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has announced a new milestone in its 134-year history by officially launching Coca-Cola Trademark into the mixers category, with the creation of Coca-Cola Signature Mixers – a range of four specially crafted drinks, designed to be mixed primarily with premium dark spirits.

Coca-Cola Signature Mixers builds on the brand’s longstanding reputation as the original, authentic mixer enjoyed across the world. The range is available to pubs, bars and restaurants in Great Britain from June.

A global first, the iconic brand collaborated on its liquid by challenging a handful of the world’s leading bartenders to create a range of new taste experiences, with access to over 200 contemporary and traditional ingredients.

The range of premium colas are available in four distinctive cola flavours, created to provide a sophisticated accompaniment to dark spirits:
> Coca-Cola Signature Mixers Smoky Notes by Max Venning contains Ylang Ylang, dried fruit and warm brown spices, with subtle hints of oak
> Coca-Cola Signature Mixers Spicy Notes by Adriana Chia and Pippa Guy is mixed with lime, ginger and jalapenos to provide a fiery finish
> Coca-Cola Signature Mixers Herbal Notes by Antonio Naranjo is blended with dill leaves, citrus and lemongrass for a refreshing taste
> Coca-Cola Signature Mixers Woody Notes by Alex Lawrence has a tart citrus flavour provided by patchouli, yuzu and basil

The group also found that some of the range mix particularly well with some clear spirits e.g. Coca-Cola Signature Mixers Herbal Notes goes well with premium vodka and is one of our recommended serves.

Research shows that after a decade long ’ginaissance’, discerning drinkers are now exploring the mysterious world of dark spirits and are looking to mixologists to help them experiment with more complex flavour profiles.

The collaborative project started back in March 2018, when a number of renowned mixologists were invited to attend a Coca-Cola curated workshop held at a secret location in London. The group set to work experimenting with numerous ingredients to create the most complex flavour compositions to enhance the original taste of Coca-Cola.

Inspired by the brand’s heritage, Coca-Cola Signature Mixers are served in a contemporary Hutchinson glass bottle – a silhouette that pre-dates the iconic Contour – first used by Coca-Cola in 1894 when product was bottled rather than served at a soda fountain. The 200ml glass bottles are ideal for instant mixing and each batch is stamped with the signature of its co-creator.

Cola is currently the number one mixer category in GB and this growth is driven by the premium segment, highlighting the opportunity for retailers to boost their sales with Coca-Cola Signature Mixers.

Simon Harrison, Vice President, Commercial Development at Coca-Cola European Partners GB, said, “Coca-Cola has always been part of cocktail culture and history, from the Cuba Libre of the 1900s to some of the world’s best cocktails today. Coca-Cola Signature Mixers marks an exciting new frontier for the Coca-Cola Trademark and a reflection of our ongoing commitment as a Total Beverage Company.

'By collaborating with experts, we believe that we have developed a totally innovative and unique product range for mixology that only Coca-Cola can do.

“There is no other brand or recipe that is more mysterious and iconic than Coca-Cola and we’re excited to be able to introduce this new and innovative product to the on-trade.

'We have started to see strong growth in dark spirits like whisk(e)y and rum and a brand like Coca-Cola innovating in this segment with complex flavours and distinct pack design - in keeping with our heritage - will bring more interest and curiosity to an exciting sector.”

The launch will be backed by a marketing campaign spanning social media, digital and proximity OOH that will kick off with a takeover of the iconic Piccadilly sign. There will also be trade and consumer experiential activity at various events between June and December as well collaborations with mixologists and spirit brands. Training will be available to the licensed trade as well as back bar displays that hero the range and Hutchinson bottle, bespoke glassware and menus.