Nonalcoholic Drinks Evolving amid Consumer Shift to Health

Economy

Tokyo, April 22 (Jiji Press)--Nonalcoholic beverages have been showing a dramatic evolution in Japan as more and more consumers become health-conscious amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gone are the days when brewers were able to expand sales by promoting the nonalcoholic aspect of such products.

Now, their main focus is advertising the health benefits of their new products. They are also trying to recreate a taste similar to alcohol. Meanwhile, soft drink manufacturers are countering the brewers' moves by releasing their own nonalcoholic beverages.

Last month, Sapporo Breweries Ltd. released "Lemon's Free" nonalcoholic beverage, which tastes like a lemon sour and labeled as a food with functional claims. Sapporo Breweries claims that the product helps reduce fatigue, and an official at the company says that the new beverage targets "consumers who chooses things that are good for health."

While the market for nonalcoholic beverages with functional claims was initially dominated by beer-like products, the range of products has expanded recently with the introduction of sour-like products and other beverages such as a new alcohol-free plum-based drink from Choya Umeshu Co.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press