Will Coca-Cola become Japan’s tipple of preference?

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
4 min read

With over 100 soft-drink variations catering for each kind of regional taste, for 132 years, Coca-Cola has remained the world’s benchmark leading soft-drinks brand

Now that ‘soft’ image is approximately to toughen up with the brand venturing into ‘hard’-alcohol beverages.

The brand is defined to launch a boozy version of its beverage in the form of a Japanese alcopop. The brand new drink will join the “Chu-Hi” selection of canned sparkling flavoured drinks which are especially popular in your community. Sold generally in most local supermarkets and accessible from vending machines, “Chu-Hi’ can be an amalgamation of what “highball” (a mixed drink) and “Shochu,” (a spirit distilled from rice barley, sweet potatoes along with other ingredients).  Chu-Hi alcoholic content ranges between 3-9% proof (which saves producers from paying the bigger taxation directed at stronger drinks).

Despite Japan’s beverage market generally waning recently, alcopops are thought to still be favored by female drinkers.

Jorge Garduño, Coca-Cola’s Japan president, says the reduced alcohol product exemplifies the way the brand continues to explore opportunities beyond its core areas despite carbonated drinks brands generally plummeted.

Initially, Coca-Cola will most likely sell its alcoholic drinks exclusively in Japan.  Although worldwide, the long-held selection of consumers to combine the drink with harder drinks will continue.  (For instance, tequila, gin, whisky (whiskey, Bourbon…) rum (white) and vodka).

(Coca-Cola dabbled previously in alcohol, buying wine businesses in the 1970s. In addition, it served Chablis and Burgundy in 6.3-ounce aluminum cans on selected United Airlines flights.  After testing other variations of “light” wines and “bag-in-box” wines, Coca-Cola sold the machine to Seagram & Sons for $200 million in 1983.


Japan increases its carbonated footprint

The mix of a languid economy and knowing of medical issues among consumers has challenged Japan’s carbonated market.

However, in accordance with general market trends firm Euromonitor, carbonated brands have shied from healthier ingredients fearing the strategy would affect the success of categories, such as for example water in bottles.

Instead, brands have already been distributing products with stronger carbonates, locally known as Kyo-Tansan, which contains higher caffeine.  Suntory (currently Japan’s second-biggest carbonated drinks company with market share of 17.1%, behind Coca-Cola on 22%) renewed its ‘Pepsi Strong’ brand by launching ‘Pepsi Strong 5.0GV’ and ‘Pepsi Strong 5.0GV Zero’ (GV identifies Gas Volume). The strong caffeine content makes the soda pops the strongest stated in the Pepsi line.

Coca-Cola plans to market a richly carbonated beverage, called ‘The Tansan’.

A spoonful of sugar no more helps the economic medicine go down

In Japan, as in worldwide, sales of fizzy drinks come in decline as teenagers are more health conscious, reducing sugar consumption. Coca-Cola has therefore branched out into water, coffee and tea to plug the sales shortfall.

The company is because of launch three new drinks in the united kingdom this season – the ice tea drink Fuzetea, ready-to-drink cold coffee Honest Coffee, and the dairy-free smoothies brand AdeZ.

Euromonitor, reports that worldwide usage of carbonated cola drinks fell 3.1% between 2012 and 2017. (There have been double-digit precipitous declines in america and Brazil). Coca-Cola controls 56.5% of the global market.

Other global brands have tried novel methods to focus on Japanese consumers’ palates. Nestlé opened a factory to meet up the growing demand for distinctively flavoured KitKat chocolate bars.

Whilst probably few outside Japan could have heard about Aquarius (a sports drink), Georgia Coffee (a canned coffee drink) or Sokenbicha (a blended tea drink), all of those drinking specifically made for japan market has generated global sales of $1 billion or even more during the past five years.

Coca-Cola soft-drink variations appeal to a variety of regional tastes. In 2016, the brand said it introduced the same as nearly two services globally each day. Time for Japan, it has introduced a soda with added fibre to interest Japan’s aging population, in addition to a product that mixes coffee using its namesake soda..”

Sugar tax for Brits experiencing obEsATy

Britain may be the fattest country in Western Europe. Based on the Office for National Statistics, the common Briton consumes 50 percent more calories than they recognize.  Men delude themselves a lot more than women – daily consuming 1,000 more calories than they estimate. Women eat about 800 calories a lot more than they admit.

The UK government is defined to introduce a sugar tax.  Yet, instead of reduce its’s sugar-rich recipe in its flagship beverage, Coca-Cola reportedly plans to check out other food and beverage companies by decreasing food portion sizes. Equally, much like other brands, so that they can offset taxation, it’ll increase prices.

The UK government-led trend for healthier foods and drinks has resulted in water in bottles outselling cola for the very first time in the brand’s history.

So, does all of this mean Coca-Cola will eventually introduce their boozy beverage beyond Japan? CEO James Quincey said: “Never say never.”

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

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