Japanese company finds market for cola drink that mimics beer
Aug 10, 2005 - A Japanese company has turned a non-alcoholic brew called Kidsbeer into a surprising success.
The drink started out as Guarana, a cola beverage sold at Yuichi Asaba's Shitamachi-ya restaurant in Fukuoka. Asaba renamed the sweet carbonated drink Kidsbeer, a move that made it an instant hit.
Asaba outsourced its production to Tomomasu. Tomomasu tinkered with the drink by decreasing its sweetness and increasing its frothiness, the company said. It began shipping the new version in late 2003.
Tomomasu originally shipped 200 bottles per month, and now produces 75,000. The drink, one of whose ingredients is the Latin American plant guarana, sells for around 380 yen per 330ml bottle. The bottles themselves are colored brown to make the drink look even more like beer.
The Kidsbeer label mimics other classic Japanese beer labels. "Even kids cannot stand life unless they have a drink," reads the product's advertising slogan.
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