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Coke Planning First Alcoholic Drink


Coca-Cola Co.'s (KO) Japan unit plans to launch a alcoholic drink in the country, which will be the first alcoholic product the beverage giant has ever developed.

"We're also going to experiment with a product in a category known in Japan as Chu-Hi. This is a canned drink that includes alcohol; traditionally, it is made with a distilled beverage called shochu and sparkling water, plus some flavoring. 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," said Jorge Garduno, president of Coca-Cola's Japan unit.

Chu-Hai is an alcoholic drink originating from Japan. Traditional chuhai is made with shochu, a distilled grain-based alcohol, and carbonated water flavored with lemon. However, it is available in wide range of flavors including lime, grapefruit, apple, orange, pineapple, grape, kyoho grape, kiwi, ume, yuzu, lychee, peach, strawberry cream, and cream soda.

"This is unique in our history. Coca-Cola has always focused entirely on non-alcoholic beverages, and this is a modest experiment for a specific slice of our market," Garduno said.

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