Coca-Cola to launch alcoholic drink in Japan
Coca-Cola to launch alcoholic drink in JapanCreative Commons.

In a bid to further expand its consumer base and give that extra fizz to its range of beverages, the US-based soft drink giant Coca-Cola is all set to introduce its first alcoholic drink. The new beverage will be launched in Japan with a local flavor and name -- Chu-Hi. 

Breaking a 130-year-old tradition, Coca-Cola will launch a canned beverage called Chu-Hi made with a distilled beverage called shochu and sparkling water and some flavoring, the company said in a post published in recently.

"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. The Chu-Hi category is found almost exclusively in Japan. Globally, it's not uncommon for non-alcoholic beverages to be sold in the same system as alcoholic beverages," said Jorge Garduno, president of Coca-Cola's Japan business unit.

"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. While many markets are becoming more like Japan, I think the culture here is still very unique and special, so many products that are born here will stay here," he added confirming the plan.

By introducing a Chu-Hi drink, Coca-Cola is stepping into a new category in the market. Earlier, The Telegraph had reported that the company will launch three new drinks in the UK in 2018 to beat the forthcoming sugar tax in the country.

The three drinks are the ice tea drink Fuzetea, ready-to-drink cold coffee Honest Coffee, and the dairy-free smoothies AdeZ.

Under the sugar tax, a new £ 520 million (around Rs 4719 crore) will be levied on sugar-sweetened drinks to combat child obesity. It will come in to force in April this year. Water-based soft drinks, milk-based beverages, and pure fruit juices are exempted from the sugar tax.