Coca-Cola To Launch Alcoholic Beverage In Japan
Coca-Cola has plans to expand beyond its classic beverage portfolio by eyeing up a new category in the Japanese market.
In an interview on the company's website, Jorge Garduño, president of Coca-Cola Japan, said that the business is experimenting with the new alcoholic Chu-Hi drink.
Chu-Hi is a type of alcopop that is found almost exclusively in Japan. It is a canned drink that includes alcohol, traditionally made with a distilled beverage called shōchū, as well as sparkling water and flavourings.
This would be the first time that the global drinks giant has moved into the alcohol segment in its 125-year history.
"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," said Garduño.
Garduño said that the Japanese market is "incredibly dynamic, fiercely competitive and rooted in innovation".
"Because of this, our team is constantly looking at ways to experiment, both from a product standpoint and finding new ways to do business with our customers," he added.
Although the new alcoholic beverage will be trialled in Japan, Garduño said that it is unlikely that the drink will be rolled out globally.
"I don’t think people around the world should expect to see this kind of thing from Coca-Cola," he 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," he added.
Coca-Cola produces a number of products specifically for the Japanese market, including a wide range of tea and ready-to-drink coffee, and Coca-Cola Plus, which includes added fibre.
All of Japan's major drinks companies sell a variation on the Chu-Hi drink, including Kirin, Suntory and Asahi.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.