JAPAN – Suntory, a Japanese brewing and distilling company group and Pepsi have announced that they will release a cola drink exclusively for the Japanese market called J-Cola.
According to Foodbev, new flavours will be available as part of the new range, including a Regular cola drink, a zero calorie variant aptly named Zero and Midnight, which is aimed at consumers who will drink the beverage in the evening.
Suntory distributes Pepsi products in Japan, and it claims the drinks were developed in response to feedback from over 100 Japanese consumers who desired a new soft drink option.
The release of the drinks comes as part of a larger marketing movement by Suntory called ‘Japan & Joy’, which aims to ‘revitalise the cola market’ in the country by creating products with Japanese consumer preferences in mind.
The design for the bottles adheres to this strategy, as the pattern for each bottle features a design reminiscent of Hokusai’s ukiyoe print ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’, as well as traditional calligraphy for the ‘J-Cola’ product name.
This comes after their business rival Coca-Cola recently released special edition drinks such as Coca-Cola Peach in the country and has deployed a similar marketing strategy, as the peach drink was released to capitalise on the increased demand for peach-flavoured products during the Hina Matsuri festival, which celebrates the coming of spring.
The full range of J-Cola drinks will be released nationwide in Japan on 17 April, with a suggested retail price of US$1.4.