Coca-Cola launches its first alcoholic drink in Japan

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Tokyo, May 28 (IANS) Coca-Cola launched its first alcoholic drink, a lemon flavoured alcopop, in Japan on Monday in an attempt to tap new markets and consumers.

In a global first for the US drinks giant, three new “Lemon-Do” drinks — containing three, five and seven per cent alcohol — went on sale. The drinks are modelled on the country’s popular “Chu-Hi” drinks, usually a mix of local spirit and a range of fruit flavours.

Described by Coca-Cola as “unique” in the company’s 125-year history, the product aims at a growing market of young drinkers — especially women, the BBC reported.

Chu-Hi — an abbreviation for shochu highball — has been marketed as an alternative to beer, proving especially popular with female drinkers.

Coca-Cola said there were no plans to bring the new drinks range to markets outside Japan.

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Alcopop drinks boomed in Europe and the UK in the 1990s with the likes of Smirnoff Ice and Bacardi Breezer becoming hugely popular. However, they were controversial, with concerns that they encouraged young people to drink more alcohol because of a soft drink-like taste.

–IANS

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