Green tea Coca Cola debuts in Japan

June 4, 2009 8:19:39 AM PDT
Forget "Classic" or "New" Coke. In Japan, you can soon have your cola flavored with green tea or basil.

Green tea-flavored Coca-Cola will hit Japanese stores June 8, Coca Cola (Japan) Co. spokesman Katsuya Sato said Thursday. It contains tea antioxidants called catechins, leaves a slight green tea aftertaste and is mainly targeted at health-conscious women in their 20s and 30s, Sato said.

"We wanted to cater to people who are looking for something that tastes good but is also good for health and beauty," he said.

Coca Cola is the leader in Japan's cola market but faces stiff competition from non-carbonated bottled drinks such as tea, coffee and fruit juices.

Rival Pepsi Cola is countering with another exotic cola - Japanese basil-flavored "Pepsi Shiso," which hits stores in late June.

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