Grab a chaser—this news might require it. Coca Cola has announced that it’s planning to enter into the ‘alcopop’ business, according to a report by The Financial Times, and will release its own version of a booze-filled soda in an effort to compete with Japan’s expanding market of liquor pop, known as ‘Chu-Hi.’
“This is unique in our history,” says Jorge Garduño, president of Coca Cola’s Japanese business unit in an interview on the company’s site. “It makes sense to give this a try in our market.” The fizzy drinks, available in major Japanese convenience stores and bars, have grown in popularity and are typically made with shochu, sparkling water and added flavorings, ranging anywhere from 3 to 9% ABV. The company has yet to announce timing or details as to the drink’s particular makeup, and unfortunately, may not arrive to the US market. “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.”
In related news, the company is also launching Coca Cola Plus: a soda with added fiber. “Japan has an aging population, and these products appeal to those consumers,” says Garduno. Though they’re probably not going to look quite as appealing in a vending machine.