The days when Coca Cola was probably the favourite beverage to mix with alcohol are maybe nearing its end. Turns out, Coca Cola is launching its own alcoholic drink for the first time in its 125-year old history. Although Indians might have to wait a while before Coca Cola introduces any alcoholic drink in the country, the Japanese would be the first ones to try the drink. Created similar to a Japanese drink called 'Chu-Hi', the Coca Cola drink would contain 3-8% alcohol content.
"This is a canned drink that includes alcohol; traditionally, it is made with a distilled beverage called shochu and sparkling water, plus some flavoring," said Coca Cola Japan president Jorge Garduno, as mentioned in a report by Times of India. Sometimes shochu is replaced with vodka and Chu-Hi drinks come in multiple flavours including grapes, strawberry, white peach and kiwi.
As health conscious consumers are distancing themselves from the colas or diet colas, Coca Cola has jumped in to tap the expanding Chu-Hi market. Chu-Hi has been branded as the alternative beer and is quite popular with consumers who like to stay away from hard drinks. With its venture, Coca Cola will be in competition with Japanese Chu-Hi producers, Kirin and Suntory.
Garduno, who believes that it makes sense for Coca Cola to make Chu-Hi in Japan, does not see the release of the product elsewhere in the world. Garduno said that while many markets are becoming more like Japan, the culture in Japan is still very unique and special and that many products that are born there is likely to stay there.
Nevertheless this drink is part of Coca Cola's campaign to broaden its portfolio. Other non-cola products of the company include flavoured vitamin water, sports drink, Honest tea and Dasani bottled water.
It might seem that this is Coca Cola's maiden venture into the alcohol segment but in 1977, Coca Cola bought Taylor Wines and started its own wine arm called Wine Spectrum. But the beverage giant exited the business six years later.