GlobalData: Coca-Cola looks to extend market lead in Japan by partnering with Kirin Holdings on developing immunity-boosting drink; collaboration to also aid Kirin in diversifying its business portfolio when beer sales are down due to shrinking population

Sample article from our Food & Beverage

September 13, 2022 (press release) –

Following the news that the Japan unit of soft drinks giant Coca-Cola and Kirin Holdings plan to develop an immunity-boosting drink;

Bobby Verghese, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“While probiotic food and drinks such as yogurt and natto are a part of the regular Japanese diet, the COVID-19 pandemic has reinvigorated the demand for immunity-boosting health drinks products. Even as the pandemic caseload in Japan is subsiding, the demand for immunity-boosting drinks remains buoyant. Accordingly, 26% of Japanese respondents in GlobalData’s 2022 consumer survey said that the factor ‘containing immunity-boosting ingredients’ was an essential/key driver of food and drink purchases, and 59% felt it was nice to have*. The entry of Coca-Cola, the market leader for soft drinks in Japan, and Kirin, one of the country’s leading brewers, will lend more impetus to the Japanese immunity-boosting beverages market.

“Coca-Cola plans to introduce new variants of Georgia, Irohasu, and Minute Maid brands infused with Kirin’s proprietary LC Plasma probiotic ingredient, according to Nikkei Asian News. This will enable the soft drinks giant to gain a foothold in the healthy drinks space and tap new consumption occasions in the post-peak COVID-19 phase. With this move, Coca-Cola, which held 21.6% volume share in 2021**, can also extend its lead over rival Suntory Holdings, which held 17.4% volume share in 2021**, and already has a strong portfolio of fortified/functional beverages. On the other hand, the collaboration will aid Kirin in diversifying its business portfolio at a time when domestic beer sales are falling due to the shrinking population.”

*GlobalData Q1 2022 Consumer Survey – Japan, with 556 respondents, published in March 2022

**GlobalData Consumer Intelligence Center – Market Analyzers, accessed in September 2022

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