By Ronan Flanagan
Coca-Cola looks set to launch an alcoholic drink for the first time in its 125 year existence.
The US corporation will launch it’s ‘alcopop’, or Chu Hi, exclusively in the Japanese market.
An ‘alcopop’ refers to a sweet but alcoholic drink. Products of a similar nature, such as Smirnoff Ice and Bacardi Breezer would be better known to these shores.
The move has been described as a “modest experiment for a specific slice of our market”, with Coca-Cola’s Japanese President Jorge Garduno commenting; “We haven’t experimented in the low alcohol category before, but it is an example of how we continue to explore opportunities outside our core areas.”
The product looks set to contain a modest 3 to 8% alcohol volume, however it seems unlikely to be sold outside of the Japan at this time.
This is not the first time that Chu Hi has been experimented with in the soft-drinks market. Abbreviated from the word Shochu Highball, it is popular among female drinkers in the country. Citrus flavours such as grapefruit and lemon are commonly used.
Coca-Cola has kept up with the various health-conscious minds and trends that have seemingly taken over in recent years. It is known worldwide for it’s red label, famous logo and dark-coloured drink. However, in recent years, the brand has spread its wings by buying into water and tea brands.
In 1977, Coca-Cola purchased Taylor Wines of New York and established ‘Wine Spectrum’ – a vendor that comprised of Monterey Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.
The venture didn’t last as long as Coca-Cola hoped, with Spectrum being sold for a costly $200 Million dollars in 1983.