Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Monday, June 25, 2007

Kyuri Cola???!?

This probably falls under the category of "only in Japan", but I don't know. I hope some of you will correct me on this.

The beverage industry in Japan has always been one of particularly heated competition. Come summer, it turns into open warfare. Even before the start of the June rainy season the stores and many vending machines are already sporting a host of new types. Some of them are products from overseas imported to test on the Japanese market. Others are wholly (or partly) native concoctions. Some, like Vanilla Coke, survive through the summer only to vanish and never be seen again. Others, like the mysterious Acerola Cola(???!?), don't even last that long. At any rate, you see a lot of new faces (well, labels at least) on the racks this time of year, and it's hard to tell which are going to be winners and which are in desperate need of having kitty litter scooped over them.

Pepsi has always been one of the more aggressive players. Long the underdog in Japan cowering in almighty Coca-Cola's bloated shadow, it has resorted to some pretty wild tactics to grab a bit of its red-and-white rival's market share (some of which have backfired and sullied its reputation, such as dirty pool competitive advertising, which is common in the U.S. but doesn't go over well here). This year it seems to be pulling out all the stops. Now that its Pepsi NEX is locked in a dead heat with Coke Zero, it has started a renewed drive to market Mountain Dew here. It has also produced some wacky new forms of flavored Pepsi Cola, including spicy red and...

...ice cucumber???!?



Yes, it really does taste like cucumber. Specifically, it tastes like the chilled Japanese kyuri cucumber that is so popular (and so delicious) this time of the year. It's bizarre...but I find I actually like it. That's a sure sign that it's going to be a bomb.

Has anyone else seen it. especially outside Japan?

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9 Comments:

  • Haven't seen it, Kinda reminds me of Jolly Rancher's watermellon candy.

    By Blogger Pa've, at 2:05 AM  

  • Lemon curry cola?

    By Blogger Don Snabulus, at 4:20 AM  

  • I don't think so, pop drinks don't usually come out w/weird stuff - except at Xmas (a year or so ago someone came out w/a "Turkey Dinner" pop around Thanksgiving or something). It seems to be more of a "collector" thing, nobody actually drinks this stuff.

    Mostly what I see is the old P*ss-water beer companies (Miller, Schlitz, etc.) attacking the small local brewery culture.

    Oregon I think has the highest per capita breweries of any state. I have to admit that I haven't seen anyone drink a old mainline beer in years (Widmer, Full Sail, McMenamins, Fat Tire and inumerable others top the list).

    By Blogger ladybug, at 8:37 AM  

  • I liked the Vanilla Coke but it disappeared quickly. They must spend millions on their ads. One time we are at Port Campbell and for a Pepsi ad, they lit up the coastline - all the Apostles rock-stacks - and had helicopters flying everywhere, just to make one TV ad. We joined a hundred or so cars to watch the filming and it was really weird.
    w.
    PS Your site opened up quickly this time.
    Also, thanks for the info about the music. I was really checking if that download is normal or dodgy.

    By Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog, at 10:55 AM  

  • Not into colas but love cucumbers - especially sliced thin in a salad.

    I'll stick to drinking mugicha this summer.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 12:06 PM  

  • Not into cucumber flavoured things, but I do like the little dishes of sweet pickled cucumber with chili slices that they give in some Asian restaurants.

    Still, the drink must be refresthing, though I guess a cucumber drink is as unappealing as say lettuce...

    By Blogger Olivia, at 4:46 AM  

  • I'm not that much into sodas n colas but mostly I'm a fan of tea!^^

    Hahaha yeh iced teas mostly and any kinda cold and refreshing teas!
    Lately I've been into Chrysanthemum tea =P

    By Anonymous angele, at 3:31 PM  

  • Over here, we have the regulars like Coke and Pepsi and rootbeer, our local brands of soy and chrysanthemums, herbal teas, cherry colas (that color your tongue red) and orange but I haven't seen cucumber drink. I'd give it a try if there's one.

    By Blogger Happysurfer, at 6:33 PM  

  • waaah... cucumber cola? interesting... here in Jakarta, beside that general beverages, we also got those imported sodas from the US in some supermarket.

    By Blogger Selba, at 2:55 AM  

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