Coca-Cola Is Debuting Its First-Ever Alcoholic Drink To Bring New Levels Of Buzz

By Mikelle Leow, 08 Mar 2018

Image via Coca-Cola Press Center

After 130 years of running—and conquering—the beverage industry, Coca-Cola has announced its plans to launch its first-ever boozy product.

On a mission to quench the thirst of its Japanese consumers, the brand is hopping on the nation’s ‘Chu-Hi’ trend, which comprises canned flavored drinks made with sparkling water and shōchū, a local spirit typically distilled from rice, barley, or sweet potatoes.

The category is said to be a premium, healthier alternative to beer and soft drinks, thanks to the lower sugar content in soda water.

The alcohol level in this genre of fizzy beverages can range between three percent and eight percent. Popular flavors include those with citrusy tangs, like lemon and grapefruit, as well as fruity ones like apple and peach.

“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,” says Jorge Garduno, President of Coca-Cola Japan.

There are, unfortunately, no current plans to take the new alcopops abroad. The company believes that ‘Chu-Hi’ is a niche preference. “I don’t think people around the world should expect to see this kind of thing from Coca-Cola,” comments Garduno.



“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.”

Seeing how the announcement has attracted worldwide attention, the brand might have to reconsider its decision. Luckily, there is still hope, as Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey told CNN last month, “Never say never.”

[via BBC, cover image via Coca-Cola Press Center]
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