Molson-Coors To Debut Boozy Non-Carbonated Refreshers In 4 Fruity Flavors

Molson-Coors is expanding its already-large array of canned alcoholic beverages with a new line of fruity refreshers. The company partnered with Coca-Cola in 2022 to release boozy Simply Lemonade Spiked, and in June 2023, it announced a Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, but its newest drink is an original brand of non-carbonated beverages. According to a press release, the refreshers, named Happy Thursday, are fruit-flavored beverages that — fittingly — have a refreshing taste, despite lacking bubbles.

Happy Thursday will come in strawberry, black cherry, pineapple starfruit, and mango passionfruit varieties. All four flavors, which are 4.4% alcohol by volume, will come in a 12-pack variety box; the strawberry and pineapple starfruit varieties will also come in stand-alone cans. Molson-Coors says the new line is "named in honor of the unofficial start of the weekend" and is targeting younger, legal-age drinkers with "flavor and brand authenticity."

That ethos also extends to the packaging, according to Amanda Devore, senior director for marketing innovation at Molson-Coors: "The bold and vibrant packaging is perfect for sharing on social media, and we can't wait for Happy Thursday to hit shelves." While Happy Thursday was announced in October 2023, the drinks won't be available for purchase until March 2024.

Happy Thursday is appealing to a younger generation

Happy Thursday's brand targeting is no secret; Molson-Coors is explicitly aiming for Gen Z consumers, specifically those active on social media. The company says it worked directly with young consumers from the drink's conception to shape its look, taste, and personality. Devore said, "Happy Thursday is really a product inspired by its target audience," and flavored alcoholic beverages are usually younger drinkers' entry into the market.

In particular, the decision to focus on non-carbonated refreshers was driven by trends on social media, where popular videos show hacks for eliminating bubbles and carbonation from beverages to make them more drinkable. Molson-Coors sees this as an emerging market with huge possibilities and likens its hard refreshers to the hard seltzers that capitalized on an opening in the market.

While it's hard to predict whether the anti-carbonation drive will sustain itself, Molson-Coors isn't wrong about refreshers' popularity; Starbucks' version of the drink has become its fastest-growing item. Also, store-bought canned cocktails and hard seltzers are still a rapidly expanding section of the alcohol market, with sales up 38% in 2022 and new brands like Heineken and Grey Goose jumping into the gold rush seemingly every month. Even Molson-Coors launched its own hard seltzer, Vizzy, just three years ago. These drinks' staying power is still undetermined, but a non-carbonated drink like Happy Thursday does have the advantage of being a truly unique offering.