Coca-Cola is to produce the first alcoholic drink in its 132-year-history, with plans to launch an alcopop in Japan.
The world’s biggest soft drinks company said it would start making a version of “Chu-Hi” – canned sparkling flavoured drinks that include a local spirit called shochu.
The company, famous for its red label and secret Coca-Cola recipe, hopes to capitalise on the increase in popularity in Japan of Chu-Hi alcopops.
Sales of the drink, which ranges in alcohol content from 3-8%, have surged over the past five years and it is particularly popular with female drinkers.
Jorge Garduño, Coca-Cola’s Japan president, said: “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.”
He added that Coca-Cola would probably sell its alcoholic drinks only in Japan, because of the “unique and special qualities” of the domestic market.
According to Euromonitor, global consumption of fizzy cola drinks fell 3.1% between 2012 and 2017, with double-digit declines in the US and Brazil. Coca-Cola controls 56.5% of the global market.
He said: “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.”
Source: BBC News