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Inside Minute Maid’s Big Bet on the US $2 Billion Aguas Frescas Category

Portada talked to Jorge Luzio, Group Director, Minute Maid Juice Portfolio, North America to understand his strategy to become the leader of the US. $2 billion permissible refreshment (Aguas Frescas) category.


In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Minute Maid Aguas Frescas and Coca-Cola Racing’s Daniel Suarez are shaking things up on Sunday September 25 with a unique themed racecar paint scheme for the 2022 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500. Portada talked to  Jorge Luzio, Group Director, Minute Maid Juice Portfolio, North America to understand this initiative and Minute Maid’s overall marketing strategy to become the leader of the high growing US $2 billion permissible refreshment (Aguas Frescas) category.

Minute Maid Marketing Daniel Suarez has honored his Mexican heritage with a special themed paint scheme on his race car and 2022’s version adds a unique twist that has never been done by a Coca-Cola Racing team member.  For the first time ever, Nascar driver Daniel Suarez’s number 99 car will be adorned with Minute Maid Aguas Frescas, a “refreshing AF” sensorial experience that, according to Minute Maid, will “make Nascar fans tongue tango.” Suarez’s car features vibrant colors and a sunglassed Pantera, as well as imagery that nods to the three Minute Maid Aguas Frescas flavors: Strawberry, Mango and Hibiscus. Much like Daniel has shaken up the NASCAR standings this season, Minute Maid Aguas Frescas has made a bold entrance that is “refreshing AF.”

Jorge Luzio, Group Director, Minute Maid Juice Portfolio,  tells Portada that the Daniel Suarez Nascar partnership is a tentpole event and “part of the 360 Daniel's Amigosmarketing ecosystem we have for the Aguas Frescas brand, which was launched 5 months ago. We have a PR and social media plan for the complete plan to support this association with Daniel Suarez. This includes complete stories about the wrapping as well as Daniel’s Amigos event on Sunday morning September 25. Suarez invited influencers and media to attend on-site.” His guests from the Latino community will spend race morning with Suárez enjoying Mexican food, a Mariachi band, a deejay, and prize giveaways before going to the grandstands to watch the race on the 1.5-mile track.

Minute Maid Marketing Strategy:  Partnership with an American Icon

Asked why Minute Maid chose to partner with a sport (racing) whose fandom is mostly of white Anglosaxon origin, Luzio explains that hesees a lot of commonalities between Nascar, Minute Maid and the Hispanic community. Minute Maid is an iconic brand about food vitality and Nascar is an iconic American sports brand. The association with Daniel Suarez, who is the first Mexican-born driver who has won Nascar races, is very resonating with the Hispanic and mainstream communities of fans. To be compelling to Gen Zers this association is very good. Daniel Suarez has been in the family of race car drivers for a long time.”

Minute Maid Marketing: The Aguas Frescas 360 Campaign

Jorge Luzio, Group Director, Minute Maid Juice Portfolio, North America

Coca-Cola-owned Minute Maid is the largest marketer in the world of fruit juices. Five months ago it expanded its Minute Maid brand portfolio with the launch of Aguas Frescas. Minute Maid is investing 80% of its overall 2022 marketing budget in Aguas Frescas marketing. The “5 de mayo” NYC Times Square Out of Home activation marked the launch of the multimedia campaign.
The overall campaign will reach 1.5 billion impressions through social media, OTT and CTV through a completely digital plan. Luzio tells Portada that their research has found his main GenZ target to be fully digitally engaged.

The GenZ Hispanic target is the bullseye of Minute Maid’s marketing for Aguas Frescas. “We target them but the message is very compelling to the rest of the population,” Luzio notes. He points out that Aguas Frescas has a Genz Z affinity index of 204 and of 185 with the overall Hispanic population.
Minute Maid marketing of Aguas Frescas also includes key associations with food aggregators as well as retail and online platforms to put proper placement in their stores. The 360 marketing plan also includes sampling and offline activations.

Permissible Refreshment: A Fast Growing US $2 Billion Opportunity

Underlying Minute Maid’s large bet on the permissible refreshment space – or Aguas Frescas or fruit blended with water – is the fact that younger generations have been diminishing their consumption in the overall juice drinks category (e.g. lemonade or orange juice), Luzio asserts. The reasons for this are that these drinks have too much sugar, not the right flavors, and an overall lack of excitement. “In parallel, we have been seeing growth in the permissible refreshment category. From 2016 to 2021 it grew by 49%”, Nunzio explains. He elaborates that particularly the menu penetration of Aguas Frescas at restaurants has grown at a very high rate. “There were many different brands and restaurants and not a big mainstream player in the Aguas Frescas space. We saw the potential for us to become the leader in this space of US $2 billion a year in the U.S.”

Aguas Frescas drinks are  Latin inspired as they are available across Latin America.  “We want to address the need for traditional Aguas Frescas and convert it into a mainstream American icon. That is why we are making it mainstream with a more contemporary taste”. Luzio expands that Minute Maid tested its mango, hibiscus and strawberry flavored Aguas Frescas drinks with GenZers and “got a Nielsen superstar, a brand that has the ability to be very disruptive in the marketplace and incremental in the retail space,”.  Luzio notes that his company is being very aggressive when it comes to tap into the Aguas Frescas marketplace.  “We want to become the indisputable leader of retail Aguas Frescas in America,” he concludes.

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