Coca-Cola set to debut in Japan’s alcoholic drink market

MUMBAI: Iconic soft drink brand Coca-Cola is set to start a new chapter with a plan to launch its first alcoholic drink. Stepping out of its area of expertise, the company will make a debut in the low-alcohol category with the creation of a popular type of Japanese alcopop known as chu-hi.

Often sold as a canned drink, chu-hi is an alcoholic drink originating from Japan, which is made of local sochu alcohol and carbonated water. The product often contains between 3 per cent and 8 per cent alcohol and has been marketed as an alternative for beer.

"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 Jorge Garduno, Coca-Cola's Japan president.

“The chu-hi category is found almost exclusively in Japan. Globally, it’s not uncommon for non-alcoholic beverages to be sold in the same system as alcoholic beverages. It makes sense to give this a try in our market,” he added. However, the timeline has not been specified for the product.

Initially, Coca-Cola’s plan is to stay within Japanese market due to the “unique and special” qualities of the market. This is one of its kind move from Coca Cola in its 130-year-long history.

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