Coca-Cola to Launch First Alcoholic Drink in Japan

One of the world’s most famous soft drink companies is diving into another arena with plans to launch its first alcoholic beverage.

Coca-Cola is creating a low alcohol canned drink to be launched in Japan, where an “alcopop” drink called Chu-Hi is thriving.

Chu-Hi is made by mixing carbonated water with Japanese liquor shōchū and adding flavoring, like kiwi, lime or lemon.

Jorge Garduño, president of Coca-Cola Japan, said the company is trying to push the boundary in new ways.

“We haven’t experimented in the low alcohol category before, but it’s an example of how we continue to explore opportunities outside our core areas,” Garduño said.

As for bringing the concept to the United States or other places around the world, Garduño said it is not likely, at least not yet.

“This is a modest experiment for a specific slice of our market. The Chu-Hi category is found almost exclusively in Japan. … It makes sense to give this a try in our market,” Garduño said. “While many markets are becoming more like Japan, I think the culture here is still very unique and special, so many products that are born here will stay here.”

 

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