Coca-Cola may be best known for, well, Coca-Cola, just launched its first ever alcoholic drink this week in Japan.
The beverage is called "Lemon-Do" and comes in three variations of alcoholic strength -- three, five, and seven percent alcohol. The drinks are said to be modelled on Japan's popular Chu-Hi (an abbreviation for shochu highball) drinks which are a generally a mix of local spirits and a range of fruit flavors and are being marketed as a beer alternative.
The recipe for Lemon-Do is a closely guarded secret, and according to the BBC, the beverage may have stiff competition. Local Japanese companies like Suntory, Asahi, and Kirin are currently the market leaders for the popular, Chu-Hi alcopop drinks which are reportedly especially popular with female drinkers. Alcopop beverages first gained popularity in Europe and the UK during the 1990s. Beverages such as Smirnoff Ice were hugely popular at the time despite concerns that they encouraged drinking among young people due to their sweet, soda-like taste.
For now, the new Lemon-Do drinks line will be available only in the southern Kyushu region of Japan. It's part of what Masaki Iida, spokesman for Coca-Cola's Japanese unit, said was a pilot project, which means the product could expand to other areas of Japan in the future.
"This is a pilot project in the region which has a sizable market," Iida said.
However, even with Lemon-Do's launch being part of a pilot project, drinkers outside of Japan shouldn't get their hopes up of enjoying a Lemon-Do anytime soon. There are no plans currently to bring this or any other alcoholic beverage to market outside of Japan by Coca-Cola.
Are you interested in this new, alcopop from Coca-Cola? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!