Saturday 18 August 2018

Coca-Cola to launch its first alcoholic drink - only in Japan

Coca-Cola plans to launch it's first ever alcoholic drink, in Japan. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Coca-Cola plans to launch it's first ever alcoholic drink, in Japan. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Danielle Demetriou

With its iconic red label and secret recipe, it's been one of the world's most famous soft drinks for more than a century.

Now, however, Coca-Cola is on the brink of a new chapter - with plans to launch its first alcoholic drink.

The company is currently experimenting with the creation of a popular type of Japanese alcopop known as Chu-Hi, containing distilled shochu alcohol mixed with flavoured carbonated water.

The low-alcohol canned drink will be launched in Japan, home to a thriving if competitive industry, with countless Chu-Hi flavoured drinks - from kiwi to yuzu - sitting on convenience store shelves across the country.

Confirming the plan in an interview on the company's website, Jorge Garduño, Coca-Cola's Japan president, said: "This is a canned drink that includes alcohol; traditionally, it is made with a distilled beverage called shochu and sparkling water, plus some flavouring.

"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."

The concept of alcoholic Coca-Cola drinks, however, was likely to stay within Japan rather than expand globally, due to the "unique and special" qualities of the Japanese market, he added.

Irish Independent

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