Coca-Cola to venture into alcoholic drinks

Coca-Cola has announced it would start making alcopops in Japan.

Alcopops are a special type of alcoholic beverages that mixes flavoured or real fruits such as apples, citrus, lemon and others with spirits like vodka, rum, etc.

The beverage giant said it would launch a version of “Chu-Hi” canned sparkling flavoured drinks that is mixed with a local spirit called Shochu for the Japanese market.

Coke is hoping to cash-in on the popularity of Chu-Hi alcopops in Japan. Sales of the drink, which ranges in alcohol content from 3% to 8%, have surged over the last five years, thanks in part to its popularity among female drinkers.

Other Japanese beverage firms such as beer companies Kirin, Asahi and Suntory have all joined in on the bandwagon and have their brands in this category.

Jorge Garduño, Coca-Cola’s Japan president, said: “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.”

However, he stressed that the company has no plans to sell the alcoholic drinks outside of Japan because of the “unique and special qualities” of the domestic market.

Sales of carbonated soft drinks have been declining worldwide as consumers become more health conscious and move away from high-sugar beverages. Coca-Cola for its part has been reworking its portfolio to appeal to consumer needs with focus on products with lower calories such as water, coffee and tea as it tries to shore-up declining sales.

According to Euromonitor, global consumption of carbonated soft drinks fell 3.1% between 2012 and 2017, with double-digit declines in the US and Brazil. Coca-Cola controls 56.5% of the world’s soft drinks market.

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