By Damilola Faustino
Coca-Cola has launched its first ever alcoholic drink in Japan. The drink is a fizzy, lemon-flavoured concoction laced with spirits that seek to capitalise on the growing popularity of “chuhai” alcopops enjoyed especially by young women.
Although the US firm dabbled in the wine business in the 1970s, the experiment in Japan is “unique” in the company’s 125-year history, said Coca-Cola Japan president Jorge Garduno.
From today, three new “Lemon-Do” drinks -containing three, five and seven per cent alcohol – will be available in the southern Kyushu region of Japan. A 350-millilitre can will set you back 150 yen ($1.40).
“This is a pilot project in the region which has a sizable market,” Masaki Iida, spokesman for Coca-Cola’s Japanese unit, told AFP. He declined to reveal the exact spirit in the drink, as the recipe is a closely guarded secret.
Coca-Cola product developers got the idea after visiting Japanese-style “izakaya” pubs, where they discovered that lemon-flavoured drinks are very popular, according to the firm’s website.
Coca-Cola is wading into an already competitive market, where major Japanese companies such as Suntory, Kirin and Asahi dominate the shelves.
And the firm’s president has already dampened hopes of people hoping to get a tipple outside Japan, saying there are no plans to launch “Lemon-Do” outside of the country.
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