Coca Cola to launch first ever alcoholic drink in Japan


A Coke vending machine in Japan

The largest beverage company in the world, Coca-Cola, is breaking a 130-year-old rule. It is experimenting with Chu-Hi, an alcohol-based canned drink in Japan.

Jorge Garduño, president of Coca-Cola’s Japan business unit revealed this on company’s website.

Talking about Coca-Cola’s product line up for 2018 in Japan Garduno revealed “We’re also going to experiment with a product in a category known in Japan as Chu-Hi. This is a canned drink that includes alcohol; traditionally, it is made with a distilled beverage called shōchū and sparkling water, plus some flavoring. 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”.

Chu-Hi is increasingly becoming popular as an alternative to beer in Japan, especially amongst female drinkers. It typically contains 3 to 8 percent alcohol content.

In it’s long history, Coca-Cola has always focused entirely on non-alcoholic beverages, and this is an experiment for a specific slice of the Japanese market. The Chu-Hi category is found almost exclusively in Japan.

“I don’t think people around the world should expect to see this kind of thing from Coca-Cola. 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” said Garduño.

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