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BEVERAGE

Coca-Cola to make maiden alcoholic drink, version of Chu-Hi, in Japan
Saturday, 10 March, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
For the first time in its history of 131 years, Coca-Cola is set to produce its first alcoholic drink in Japan. The company stated that it would start making a version of Chu-Hi, canned sparkling flavoured drinks that include a local spirit called shochu.

Anticipating about the new product for the current year, Jorge Garduño, president, Japan business unit, Coca-Cola, said, “We are going to experiment with a product in a category known in Japan as Chu-Hi.”

“This is a canned drink that includes alcohol. Traditionally, it is made with a distilled beverage called shochu and sparkling water, plus some flavouring,” he added.

“We haven’t experimented in the low alcohol category before, but it is an example of how we continue to explore opportunities outside our core areas,”  Garduño said.

He added, “Coca-Cola has always focused entirely on non-alcoholic beverages, and this is a modest experiment for a specific slice of our market.”

“The Chu-Hi category is found almost exclusively in Japan. Globally, it is 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 said.

The product is typically between three and eight per cent alcohol by volume.

“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.

For decades, Coca-Cola’s business in Japan has stood out as an almost truly unique market. Some beverage categories that are big in Japan barely exist anywhere else.
 
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