In the continued attempt of the beverage industry to find new avenues in a fading market, Coke is now pushing booze for almost the first time in the 125 years of the company. It’s developing a version of the popular chu-hi beverage in Japan.
The Washington Post reports today, “The company’s chief business executive in Japan, Jorge Garduño, said last month that the soft-drink giant was developing a version of chu-hi—a popular fizzy mixed drink. ‘This is a canned drink that includes alcohol; traditionally, it is made with a distilled beverage called shochu and sparkling water, plus some flavoring.’”
Other than a brief wine detour from 1977 to 1983—when it owned Wine Spectrum, which was then sold to Seagram & Sons—this is the first time that Coke is looking to sell alcohol. Garduño stressed in an interview on the company’s website, “Coca-Cola has always focused entirely on non-alcoholic beverages, and this is a modest experiment for a specific slice of our market”; no release date has yet been announced. Speaking of experiments, the interview also mentions a fiber-filled version of Coke called Coke Plus, which hopefully will stay on the Coca-Cola research side of things.