Only in Japan; Coca-Cola announces an alcoholic drink

Japan has long been home to some of the weirdest and most wonderful creations in food, and travellers have been known to stuff their suitcases full of souvenir snacks on their return journey. Now there’ll be something else to try when you venture there; the first alcoholic offering from Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola are about to enter Japan’s lucrative Chu-Hi market. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The new drink will be an alcopop, known in Japan as ‘Chu-Hi’. These sugary drinks normally come in cans and are made with a Japanese liquor called shochu. They’re traditionally flavoured with lemon but now you can find them in hundreds of flavours, normally sweet and fruity like grapefruit, apple or orange. Sometimes they’re made with vodka instead of shochu.

The market is growing and now the most famous drink in the world wants to throw their hat in the ring. Although Coca-Cola did briefly own a wine company in the 1970s, this is the first time in their 125-year history they’ve decided to make their own alcoholic product.

Chu-Hi can come in varieties with up to 9% alcohol but Coca-Cola Japan president Jorge Garduno said their new offering would be “low-alcohol”, bringing it more in line with traditional alcopops.

It’s not clear yet if their Japanese alcoholic drink will be actually be Coca-Cola flavoured though it would probably fit right in with the super-sweet offerings available in the market. Given that there are no further details on the product itself, fans will have to wait and see will this be a Japan-only offering – like so many flavours of KitKats – or will find its way onto the supermarket shelves near you in the future.

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Only in Japan; Coca-Cola announces an alcoholic drink
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