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Coca-Cola launches first alcoholic drink in Japan, and it's lemon-flavoured

From today, three new "Lemon-Do" drinks -- containing three, five and seven percent alcohol

AFP | PTI  |  Japan 

Coke, Coca-Cola, Cola

Coca-launched its first ever alcoholic drink today in -- a fizzy, lemon-flavoured concoction laced with spirits that seek to capitalise on the growing popularity of "chuhai" alcopops enjoyed especially by young women.

Although the US firm dabbled in the wine business in the 1970s, the experiment in is "unique" in the company's 125-year history, said Coca-

From today, three new "Lemon-Do" drinks -- containing three, five and seven percent alcohol -- will be available in the southern Kyushu region of Japan.

A 350-millilitre can will set you back 150 yen ($1.40).

"This is a pilot project in the region which has a sizable market," Masaki Iida, for Coca-Cola's Japanese unit, told AFP.

He declined to reveal the exact spirit in the drink, as the recipe is a closely guarded secret.

Coca got the idea after visiting Japanese-style "izakaya" pubs, where they discovered that lemon-flavoured drinks are very popular, according to the firm's website.

The popular "chuhai" drinks -- which contain vodka or a distilled, grain-based spirit called "shochu" -- come in a range of flavours such as grape, strawberry, kiwi and white peach.

They range in strength from between three and nine percent and are particularly popular with young drinkers, especially women.

is wading into an already competitive market, where major Japanese such as Suntory, and dominate the shelves.

And the firm's has already dampened hopes of people hoping to get a tipple outside Japan, saying there are no plans to launch "Lemon-Do" outside of the country.

However, the push is seen as part of a broader campaign to diversify beyond sodas as health concerns see consumers in the US and other developed markets weaning themselves off sweet drinks and diet colas.

First Published: Mon, May 28 2018. 15:15 IST