US – The fifth-largest beer producer globally, Molson Coors has taken a minority stake in Casa Komos Brands Group, the owner of Superbird 100% blue agave reposado tequila-based cocktails.

In the agreement, the American multinational beverage company has also decided to return the commercial operations of Superbird to its parent company, which will continue the brand’s US expansion.

Casa Komos Beverage Group (CKBG), during the launch of Superbird in 2018, said the 5.9% ABV canned drink is a twist on the classic Paloma cocktail because it was made with Tequila, grapefruit juice, agave nectar, and sparkling water and contains no sugar or artificial ingredients.

Molson Coors first announced its partnership with Superbird in January 2021, marking its first foray into the premium spirits-based ready-to-drink (RTD) category as the firm looked to diversify its portfolio.

The deal was aimed to help Superbird to expand its distribution across the US, starting with 10 new markets in spring 2021.

The RTD spirits category later grew by 142% in 2020 and was predicted to be worth an estimated US$1.2 billion in 2021, according to Nielsen data cited by the brand.

Since the takeover, Molson Coors has moved aggressively to expand its reach beyond the signature brews in its namesake into other beers, alcohols, and nonalcoholic beverages.

Just two weeks ago, Molson Coors signed an exclusive distribution deal to launch ZOA, a nonalcoholic energy drink made with better-for-you, natural ingredients.

The partnership with CKBG and its Superbird brand also gives Molson Coors an immediate presence in the fast-growing premium ready-to-drink spirits category and accelerates its move beyond the beer aisle.

Despite the pandemic-related economic hardships of recent months, the premium trend has continued, with retail sales of premium and super-premium food and beverage brands increasing 1.7% year-over-year for the 26 weeks ending Oct. 4, according to IRI data.

Pete Marino, president of emerging growth for Molson Coors, stated: “CKBG is having great success with Komos, their ultra-premium tequila brand, so it strategically makes sense for them to drive further growth within their portfolio of tequila offerings.”

We are excited to continue to be a partner with them and their portfolio of brands with a minority stake in the company.”

To maintain the carry-off in the RTD space, Molson Coors has also announced that September will welcome a suite of nonalcoholic products including a full-flavored seltzer with added probiotics; a plant-based diet soda; and a grain-based milk alternative packed with protein and nutrients.

This will be an addition to Veryvell, a line of sparkling, nonalcoholic CBD drinks that was launched in July by Truss CBD USA, a joint venture majority owned by Molson Coors and operated with Canadian cannabis producer Hexo.

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