Photo/IllutrationCans of Lemondo, center, are sold in the Hakata Hankyu Department Store in Fukuoka. (Kazumi Tako)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

After creating a buzz in Kyushu with its first alcoholic drink, the Coca-Cola group is hoping to keep the good times flowing across Japan, starting on Oct. 28 to offer canned Lemondo "chuhai" nationwide.

A Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan public relations official says that until recently, the company did not offer a beverage that consumers could drink at night.

That changed when Coca-Cola attempted to tap into the popularity of shochu-based beverages and released Lemondo in Kyushu in May last year.

However, it remains to be seen whether the lemon-flavored chuhai can become popular like Georgia, Sokenbicha and other drinks that the company initially offered only in Kyushu.

Lemondo has a high content of lemon juice, between 7 and 17 percent. There are four varieties, including “regular lemon” and “honey lemon,” with each having a different alcohol content.

The 350-milliliter can will be sold at the manufacturer’s recommended price of 150 yen ($1.37), excluding taxes.

Coca-Cola group chose Kyushu as the test market because while residents there drink a lot of shochu, they do not typically imbibe shochu-based chuhai beverages.

Coca-Cola planned to introduce Lemondo nationwide if the product was well-received where shochu is popular. Sales of the beverage were roughly double the company’s target, attracting attention on social media as a unique souvenir to bring back from Kyushu.

Businesses in other industries also use this method of expanding sales of a product to the rest of the country after test-marketing it in a selected area.

Coca-Cola previously launched exclusive initial sales of its coffee brand Georgia, blended tea brand Sokenbicha and fruit juice brand Qoo in Kyushu.

“People in Kyushu welcome new things,” said the public relations official.

Now, the company has high hopes for Lemondo to sell well in areas other than Kyushu.