Molson Coors, Coca-Cola to Launch Hard Iced Tea

Peace Hard Tea is inspired by Coke's Peace Tea beverage.

Peace Hard Tea
Molson Coors

CHICAGO — Molson Coors Beverage Company will launch Peace Hard Tea, a new product in the "beyond beer" space, through its relationship with the Coca-Cola Company.

Peace Hard Tea is inspired by Peace Tea, the Coca-Cola-owned,  fruit-forward iced tea beverage known for its vibrant flavors and free-spirited branding that’s proved popular among legal-age Gen Z consumers, particularly in the Southeast United States.

Peace Hard Tea, a non-carbonated, 5% alcohol-by-volume beverage, is slated to hit shelves around Labor Day in the Southeast. It will be sold in convenience stores in 24-ounce single cans in three flavors: More Peace More Lemon (lemon tea), Freedom of Peach (peach tea), and Really Really Razzy (raspberry tea).

Peace Hard Tea’s lineup of bold, fruit-forward flavors creates an opportunity to bring more legal- aged drinkers into the hard tea space, says Amanda Devore, Molson Coors’ marketing director for innovation.

“Peace Hard Tea comes with a distinct point of view, amazing flavors and incredible branding to build something new and exciting in the alcohol aisle,” Devore said. "The hard tea category continues to grow double digits year over year, and we think there’s a huge opportunity, and people love this brand. It has an edge and a really loyal fanbase.”

While Twisted Tea is far and away the segment leader, Peace Hard Tea’s entrance into the growing market is a sign of the opportunity in the space. Hard tea dominates in C-stores, where it owns a 26 share of flavored alcohol beverage sales, according to Circana. Both hard tea and flavored alcohol beverages are popular in the Southeast, Devore says, citing Circana data that shows FABs up 30% in volume versus last year.

Molson Coors and The Coca-Cola Company have quickly established a track record of success when it comes to launching extensions of popular non-alc brands into the alcohol space. Topo Chico Hard Seltzer has netted line extensions, including Topo Chico Margarita Hard Seltzer and Topo Chico Ranch Water Hard Seltzer. Last week, Molson Coors announced the launch of new Topo Chico Spirited line of canned cocktails, made with real spirits. The two companies also successfully evolved the beloved Simply juice brand into Simply Spiked Lemonade and Simply Spiked Peach.

Now they’re hoping to catch lightning in a can again.

More in Consumer Trends