Coke experiments with alcohol

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 14th March 2018

A Coca-Cola executive has revealed the beverage giant is soon set to start dabbling in alcohol, something it has rarely done before.

In a published chat on the Coca-Cola website with Jorge Garduno, President of Coca-Cola’s Japan business, Garduno said that Coke intends to experiment with an alcoholic beverage in Japan in 2018

Until now, Coca-Cola has stuck to selling non-alcoholic beverages, except for briefly dipping its toe into the wine industry decades ago.

Coke’s new alcoholic beverage is Chu Hai, a Japanese drink, which traditionally is a mix of shochu (a Japanese spirit), mixed with carbonated water and lemon flavour. It is normally packaged in cans.  In recent years, Japanese beverage producers have released Chu Hai drinks with different flavourings other than lemon, most of them other fruit flavours.

Garduno said it is the first time Coke has experimented in the low alcohol category but it is an example of how Coke continues to explore opportunities outside of its core, traditional business.

Australians and other parts of the world need not get too excited at the prospect of new alcoholic beverages from Coke however. Garduno explained that Japan’s beverage market is a unique one, with history of beverages gaining great traction in Japan but nowhere else in the world.

“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,” Garduno said.


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