The way situation stands right now, it seems that world’s leading non-alcoholic soft drink company Coca-Cola is set to announced plans to launch an alcoholic drink in Japan. This move by Coca-Cola releasing an alcoholic drink will ignite their famous 1971’s ads saying ” ‘I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke’, Although, an interview on the Coca-Cola”s website sometime in February this year, reported that the president of Coca-Cola’s Japan business unit Jorge Garduño indicate that the company is planning to ‘experiment’ with an alcoholic drink. ‘We’re also going to experiment with a product in a category known in Japan as Chu-Hi. This is a canned drink that includes alcohol,’ Garduño said.
After a successful 130-year of tradition for selling non-alcoholic soft drink, Coca-Cola is set to change the route of their business model by introduction an alcoholic drink into the market.
‘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. The move comes amid a difficult time for the soda industry. In 2016, soda consumption in the US fell to a 30-year low as people started turning to healthier alternatives.
Though, at the beginning of this year, they announced the introduction selling smaller bottles at higher prices rather than tinker with its famous recipe in order to conform to the new sugar tax that comes into effect in April.
A foray into the Japanese alcopop market would appear to be providing Coca-Cola with an opportunity to further diversify its offerings and explore an avenue not wholly reliant on its soda drink foundation.
What is Chu-Hi?
As Garduño explains, Chu-Hi is a canned drink that contains alcohol: ‘Traditionally, it is made with a distilled beverage called shōchū and sparkling water, plus some flavoring.’
It has a low alcohol content, usually between 3-8 percent and the market is now saturated with hundreds of flavours that include everything from peach to salty grapefruit.
The demand for Chu-Hi drinks appears high with the market growth fluctuating everywhere between 5 and 25 percent, according to the Financial Times.
Garduño explains the reasoning for Coca-Cola’s alcoholic venture: ‘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.’
Will alcoholic Coca-Cola be rolled out worldwide?
It doesn’t look as if alcoholic Coca-Cola will be appearing on off-licence shelves worldwide any time soon. As Garduño explains, this is a ‘unique’ and ‘modest experiment for a specific slice of our market’.
‘The Chu-Hi category is found almost exclusively in Japan. But I don’t think people around the world should expect to see this kind of thing from Coca-Cola.’
He goes on to say that Japanese culture is very unique and so , ‘so many products that are born here will stay here’.
Report Re-Phrase Credit: Daily Mail UK