Things are about to get a whole lot more bubbly for Coca-Cola fans, as the soft drink giant announced their first-ever alcoholic drink will soon hit shelves in Japan.
On March 7, BBC reported that Coca-Cola is currently testing their own spin on the canned sparkling drink Chu-Hi, a popular Asian drink that mixes a fruity carbonated beverage with local spirit shochu. Typically featuring between 3 percent and 8 percent alcohol by volume, Chu-Hi is gaining popularity as an alternative to beer and winning over female consumers, according to the outlet. For their part, Coca-Cola is eager to cash in on Japan’s growing taste for the fizzy beverage.
“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. Coca-Cola has always focused entirely on non-alcoholic beverages, and this is a modest experiment for a specific slice of our market,” confirmed Jorge Garduño, Coca-Cola’s Japan business unit president, via press release.
“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,” Garduño added. He further divulged that Coke enthusiasts in the Western Hemisphere shouldn’t get their hopes up too quickly, however, as it will likely stay in Japan.
“I don’t think people around the world should expect to see this kind of thing from Coca-Cola. 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,” Garduño said of the new drink.
The Telegraph notes that this is the first time Coca-Cola is branching out into alcoholic beverages in its 130-year-old history, after first debuting in 1886 sans alcohol to avoid prohibition regulations.