Coca-Cola Is Testing Its First Alcoholic Beverage (in Japan)

This is perfect for when a caffeine buzz isn't enough.



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Care for an alcohol buzz to go with your caffeine buzz? Coca-Cola is testing a new canned drink with alcohol in it — a company first that brings new meaning to the concept of "a Coke and a smile."

The introduction of the boozy new beverage, Coca-Cola's first foray into hooch, is part of the software giant's effort "to push the boundaries to serve consumers in new ways," Jorge Garduno, president of Coca-Cola's Japan business unit, said in an interview on the Coca-Cola company blog.

However, like everything new and innovative, it seems, the drink is being launched only in Japan. Yeah, they have all the new-product fun there.

Wonder why? The market in Japan is "incredibly dynamic, fiercely competitive and rooted in innovation," Garduno explained, adding that experimentation in Japan is almost a way of life.

"You can't fall behind the rapid product cycle in Japan, so we're always seeking innovation opportunities to deliver fun surprises for consumers," he said.

Coca-Cola is also launching the drink is an existing Japanese product category, Chu-Hi, which is a traditional alcoholic canned drink featuring sparkling water and a low-alcohol distilled drink known as shōchū, as well as other flavors. It's found essentially only in Japan, and Coca-Cola has no plan to introduce its version outside that country.

"Globally, it's not uncommon for non-alcoholic beverages to be sold in the same system as alcoholic beverages," he told the company blog. "It makes sense to give this a try in our market. But I don't think people around the world should expect to see this kind of thing from Coca-Cola."


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