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Coca-Cola to launch its first alcoholic drink in Japan

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 March, 2018, 5:02am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 March, 2018, 6:15am

Coca-Cola plans to launch its first ever alcoholic drink in Japan, in a surprising departure for a US company identified with cola and other non-alcoholic beverages.

While Coca-Cola dabbled in the wine business in the 1970s, the Japanese experiment is “unique” in the company’s 125-year history, said Coca-Cola Japan president Jorge Garduno.

The new offering will be in Japan’s growing “Chu-Hi” category of beverages, Garduno said in a recent interview posted to the company’s website.

“This is a canned drink that includes alcohol; traditionally, it is made with a distilled drink called shochu and sparkling water, plus some flavouring,” he said.

Chu-Hi drinks come in a range of flavours such as grape, strawberry, kiwi and white peach and sometimes replace shochu with vodka.

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Coca-Cola looks at marijuana ingredient cannabidiol in 'wellness beverages'
The soft drink producer is ‘closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD [cannabidiol] as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world’

Agence France-Presse
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 September, 2018, 4:32am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 September, 2018, 7:08am

Coca-Cola is studying the use of a key ingredient in marijuana in “wellness beverages”, as a growing number of mainstream companies develop cannabis-infused drinks, the company announced on Monday.

“We have no interest in marijuana or cannabis,” Coca-Cola said in a statement. But the iconic soft drink producer said it is “closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD [cannabidiol] as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world”.

Cannabidiol is a chemical in marijuana that does not have the intoxicating effects of THC, the major active ingredient that causes the “high”. It has been used to treat epilepsy and other maladies.

“The space is evolving quickly,” Coca-Cola said. “No decisions have been made at this time.”

Coca-Cola’s statement comes amid reports the company has held talks with Canada’s Aurora Cannabis to develop beverages. Some of Coca-Cola’s trademark cola products have struggled to grow sales in recent years due to health concerns.

Canada is set to legalise cannabis on October 17 after both houses of Parliament voted to make the drug available for recreational use.

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