CHICAGO—Molson Coors Beverage Co. has launched its first nonalcoholic cocktail, available as a direct-to-consumer product. The mocktail, called “Roxie,” comes in three flavors: Ripe With Passionfruit, Forbidden Pineapple and Lost in Mango. The 12-ounce drinks are available online only in a 12-pack variety pack for $43 or a single-flavor four-pack for $18.
The launch of Roxie is Molson Coors' latest venture in the beyond beer space. Recent data from IWSR show that the nonalcoholic beverage category is expected to grow by 27.6% among 21- to 25-year-olds.
“Roxie is designed for consumers seeking nonalcoholic beverages that make them feel good about their choice to participate in drinking occasions with or without the alcohol,” wrote Molson Coors in a statement.
“We know a lot of consumers are starting to either moderate or temper and think about their consumption habits,” Jamie Wideman, vice president of innovation for Molson Coors told CNN. “We wanted to have a product that fits that occasion and allows consumers to ‘stay in the moment’ while they are drinking their favorite alcoholic beverage but can also vacillate between an alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage as well.”
During research for the development of the beverage, Molson Coors found that consumers did not want a nonalcoholic version of a familiar cocktail, which prompted the company to create a drink with “layered, intriguing, complex flavors” that also “mirrors some of the craft cocktail experience,” Wideman told CNN.
“When you taste Roxie, you will know at your first sip that this isn’t juice. As we designed it, we were really intentional about using those familiar and as well as maybe not so familiar and intriguing flavors, like cardamom or lemongrass,” she said.
According to the International Food Information Council, nonalcoholic beverage options are growing in popularity as more consumers abstain from alcohol for reasons varying from physical health to emotional wellbeing to spiritual. Sales of non- and low-alcoholic beverages were up 15% last year, according to a IWSR report.
Brandy Rand, IWSR’s chief strategy officer, told CNN that she is “not surprised” that a traditional beer company is moving into this space.
“It’s a convergence of two fast-growing segments within the beverage alcohol space that have a lot of runway for growth: Zero proof and canned cocktails,” Rand told CNN. “People want better nonalcoholic options without sacrificing flavor.”
The IWSR report also showed that beer sales were down 2% last year. In 2019, Molson Coors changed its name from Molson Coors Brewing Company to Molson Coors Beverage company as a result of declining beer sales, reports CNN.
Wideman told CNN that Molson Coors’ broad product lineup will help secure the brand’s future, including Roxie, as consumers fall out of love with beer, particularly younger ones.
“There are needs that aren’t being met of more consumers, and we want to keep more consumers coming into our portfolio,” she said. “These are the types of strategic directions that we have to take to think about the future.”
Other beer companies, including Heineken, Budweiser and Sam Adams, have released nonalcoholic alternatives in the past five years. In November, Keurig Dr Pepper took a minority stake in nonalcoholic craft beer maker Athletic Brewing Company, investing $50 million. The deal was Keurig Dr Pepper’s second move into the nonalcoholic segment after acquiring Atypique, a nonalcoholic ready-to-drink cocktail brand.