Coca-Cola set to launch alcoholic drink in Japan


08 Mar 2018

Coca-Cola to soon roll-out its first alcoholic drink in Japan

In a major breakaway from over 130 years of tradition, Coca-Cola will soon launch its first alcoholic drink, but exclusively for Japan.

The move is in sync with the soft drink giant's aim to tap into the country's burgeoning alcopop market. It is specifically looking at recreating a popular regional drink called Chu-Hi.

Read on to know more.


What is Chu-Hi? 

Chu-Hi is a canned sparkling flavored drink. It is largely made of a distilled beverage called shochu, which is made from rice, potatoes or barley.

It also contains sparkling water and some flavoring, and is being touted as an alternative to beer. With alcohol content between 3%-8%, it is especially liked by women.

Breaking free

Coca-Cola trying to 'push boundaries' in unconventional ways

Calling the move historic, Jorge Garduño, president of Coca-Cola's Japan business unit, told Hindustan Times, "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."

He called the move "a modest experiment for a specific slice of our market".

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Restricted supply

Alcoholic drinks just for Japan, not other countries

According to Garduño, the new drink won't make its way out of Japan and Coca-Cola isn't planning to foray into alcoholic beverages.

Asking global consumers to not "expect to see this kind of thing from Coca-Cola," he said, "The culture here [in Japan] is still very unique and special, so many products that are born here will stay here".

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Hindustan Times

Jorge Gardu

Jorge Garduño

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