Coca-Cola now plans to break away from tradition and enter Japan’s growing alcopop market with Chu-Hi—canned beverages that contain alcohol. We’d travel to Japan just for this. By Radhika Sikaria
The soft drink giant, announced the expansion of the company to include an alcoholic beverage, popularly known as Chu-Hi in Japan. It is a canned sparkling flavoured drink laced with shochu, a spirit made from rice, potatoes or barley. In recent years, the demand for Chu-Hi has increased considerably in Japan. So much so that the cans are now sold in convenience stores and vending machines apart from bars and restaurants, with flavor variants including lime, grapefruit, apple, orange, pineapple, strawberry and many more. Tapping this mushrooming demand, Jorge Garduño who is the president of Coca-Cola’s Japan business unit announced Coca-Cola’s plans to include the canned alcoholic beverage in its profile.
“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 said.
Coke fans outside of Japan hoping for something similar from the company will be left disappointed, though. Alcoholic Coca-Cola drinks will most likely be sold only in Japan, because of the “unique and special” qualities of the Japanese market, as per Garduño. It will be the first alcoholic drink produced by the company in its 125-year history. Just another reason to travel to Japan, we say!