Coca-Cola conducting pilot test of its alcohol-based beverage, Lemon-Dou

Beginning with Lemon-Dou, its worldwide alcoholic ready-to-drink beverage, which the corporation has begun to pilot test in Goa and certain regions of Maharashtra, Coca-Cola India has made its first foray into the alcohol market.

A representative for Coca-Cola India told ET that the company is pilot testing Lemon-Dou, a product from its worldwide portfolio, in a few Indian states. Lemon-Dou is a concoction of lime and shochu, a distilled liquor related to vodka and brandy.

‘The preparation and distribution of these beverages is done separately in dedicated and independent facilities in India, which are different from the facilities that prepare and distribute its non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink (NARTD) beverages,’ a spokesman for Coca-Cola India wrote in an email to ET.

Chuhai, a Japanese-inspired alcoholic beverage, is the main inspiration for Lemon-Dou. During the test launch phase, the price of a 250 ml can is Rs 230.

Manolo Arroyo, the global marketing chief for Coca-Cola, told ET in a recent interview that the company has intentionally chosen to experiment because alcohol is a very large industry. ‘We know exactly what kinds of beverages consumers like to drink. I refer to it as mental and physical nourishment.’

Launched in Japan in 2018, Lemon-Dou was Coca-Cola’s first ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage, furthering the firm’s posture as a ‘total beverages company’.

Georgia and Costa Coffee coffee brands are sold by Coca-Cola, the leading soft drink manufacturer in India, along with Coke, Sprite, Thums Up, Fanta, and Limca fizzy beverages, Maaza and Minute Maid juices, Kinley water, and Honest tea. Thirty years after reentering India, the business is now venturing into alcoholic drinks.

Coca-Cola and international spirits manufacturer Pernod Ricard announced in October that they will be working together to provide Absolut vodka and Sprite as ready-to-drink pre-mixed cocktails globally in 2024, with the UK, Netherlands, Spain, and Germany leading the way. The new brand, Absolut & Sprite, will be created by combining Coca-Cola’s Sprite and Sprite Zero Sugar with Pernod’s premium vodka.

Other attempts by Coca-Cola to enter the alcohol business include seltzers (like Topo Chico Hard Seltzer) and pre-mixed cocktails (like Schweppes and Jack Daniel’s & Coca-Cola) in a few international areas.

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    December 12, 2023

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