In a break from its 125-year-old tradition, Coca-Cola is set to launch its first ever alcoholic drink, according to a BBC report. However, the drink will be exclusive to Japan and will have between 3-8 per cent alcohol. The move comes at a time when health conscious youths are moving away from consuming soft drinks, prompting the company to acquire water and tea brands.
The product, kind of an alcopop, is essentially a watered-down mix of the shochu spirit that is a big hit among the Japanese. Alcopop typically refers to sweet but alcoholic drinks. BBC quoted Jorge Garduno, Japanese head of Coca-Cola, as saying that the unique venture was a modest experiment for a specific slice of alcohol market. “This is a canned drink that includes alcohol; traditionally, it is made with a distilled beverage called shochu and sparkling water, plus some flavouring. 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,” Garduno said.
Coca-Cola plans to market the drink as an alternative to beer and will target female drinkers. The product is not expected to be sold globally and is supposed to remain exclusive to Japan due to the “unique and special” qualities of the nation’s market.