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Coca-Cola To Launch First Ever Alcoholic Beverage In Japan

By Dave Simpson

In a bid to capitalise upon Japan's expanding "Chu-Hi" alcopop market, Coca-Cola is planning to launch its first ever alcoholic beverage.

According to the president of Coca-Cola's Japanese business unit, Jorge Garduño, the company intends to experiment with "a canned drink that includes alcohol". In Japan, this type of product is categorised as a "Chu-Hi" beverage, which is traditionally made from a combination of a distilled drink called shochu, sparkling water and flavouring.

The alcoholic content of Chu-Hi products usually ranges between 3% and 8%. Figures used by Japanese drinks company Suntory indicate that year-on-year growth of the Chu-Hi market has fluctuated between 5% and 25% since 2013.

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Garduño stated that while the launch of an alcoholic beverage serves as an example of how Coca-Cola is exploring opportunities outside of its cores areas, he does not believe that customers in other parts of the world should expect to see similar products launching in their regions.

He commented, "Coca-Cola has always focused entirely on non-alcoholic beverages, and this is [a] modest experiment for a specific slice of our market."

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