PepsiCo has signed an agreement with FIFCO to develop and distribute an alcoholic version of its Lipton brand, Lipton Hard Ice Tea.

The alcohol-infused, tea-based RTD is expected to be 5% abv and launch in the US market with four flavour variants; peach, lemon, strawberry and a half-and-half mixture of tea and lemonade.

The Lipton Hard Ice Tea will be managed and produced by FIFCO’s American subsidiary FIFCO USA. The Costa-Rican-based food and drinks company’s US division has signed a commercial agreement with the Pepsi Lipton venture to develop and distribute the beverage within the US market. Pepsi Lipton is a venture between PepsiCo and Unilever.

FIFCO USA has also reached a distribution agreement with Blue Cloud Distribution Inc., which will oversee the physical rollout of the RTD in the first quarter of 2023. Blue Cloud Distribution is 100% owned by PepsiCo.

“We celebrate the signing of these commercial licence and distribution agreements, which consolidate a strategic relationship with a partner as relevant as PepsiCo, which will allow FIFCO to expand its beverage portfolio and increase its scale in the US market, and in turn, develop new presentations for a growing category that is setting trends in a market as important as the United States,” a FIFCO spokesperson said.

FIFCO is a beverage and food group headquartered in Heredia, Costa Rica. Operating since 1908, FIFCO manages nine production plants and 15 distribution centres spread across Costa Rica, Guatemala, US, Mexico and El Salvador.

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“Connecting America’s favorite tea brand with FIFCO’s expertise in the flavored spirits segment allows us to build on 130 years of brand history that consumers already know and love. Our FIFCO USA product development team stayed true to the high quality and great taste of Lipton, offering a new consumer experience,” the FIFCO spokesperson said.

At the start of the year, PepsiCo and The Boston Beer Co. collaborated to launch Hard Mtn Dew, an alcoholic version of the PepsiCo-owned brand., Blue Cloud Distribution Inc. is also responsible for the distribution of Hard Mtn Dew.

Does PepsiCo’s alcoholic Mtn Dew pave way for Hard Coke and Hard Pepsi? – Click here for a Just Drinks comment