Coca-Cola announced plans to launch an alcoholic drink in Japan. In a February 2018 interview on the Coca Cola Japan website, the president of Coca-Cola’s Japan business unit Jorge Garduño said 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.
The alcoholic drink will mark a stark break from the Coca-Cola company’s 130-year tradition of releasing soft drinks.
‘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.
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.’