ATLANTA - Coca-Cola has just rolled out two alcoholic drinks, both of them for the Japanese market.
The first is a canned liquor product called Chu-Hi, according to the CNBC. Chu-Hi is a popular beverage that starts with shochu, a distilled liquor similar to brandy or vodka, and is enhanced with sparkling water and flavoring. Coca-Cola’s ready-to-drink offering contains between 3% and 8% alcohol.
The second new product is Lemon-Do, which has a sparkling lemon flavor and comes in 3%, 5% and 7% alcohol varieties. Currently, it’s only available on the Japanese island of Kyushu, according to Ad Age.
This isn’t Coca-Cola’s first brush with alcoholic beverages. Coca-Cola also got into the wine business in the mid-1970s but sold that division to Seagram & Sons in the early 1980s.
Drinking certain beverages at particular times of day is a well-established ritual in Japan, and because of the country’s unique culture, Coca-Cola officials don’t believe the two new offerings will be introduced to other parts of the world.
Despite a history of long traditions, Japan is a fiercely competitive market for all types of products, including foods and beverages, and Coca-Cola launches approximately 100 new products there every year. Last spring, the company rolled out Coca-Cola Plus, a zero-calorie beverage containing five grams of indigestible dextrin, a source of dietary fiber. The drink is aimed at consumers ages 40 and up.