Starbucks & Coca-Cola Japan Release Regional Drinks

Published 21 July 2021

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In Japan, for summer 2021, Starbucks and Coca-Cola are releasing limited-edition drinks unique to the country’s different regions. Featuring distinct designs as well as flavours, the drinks present the iconic branding of both beverage giants with a twist.

Starbucks & Coca-Cola Japan Release Regional Drinks

Starbucks Japan

In honour of its 25th anniversary in Japan, Starbucks developed 47 unique frappuccino flavours to reflect the country’s 47 prefectures. Hokkaido, known for its sweet tokibi corn, presents locals with a corn and milk frappuccino, and Chiba, Japan’s largest producer of soy sauce, introduces a blend of sweetened soy sauce and coffee – each flavour draws upon the locale’s distinct flavours and ingredients. These drinks are available from June 30, 2021 – but each prefecture sells only their individual frappuccino. To try every flavour, one must travel to each region.

Since 2017, Coca-Cola has launched 27 limited-edition regional bottle designs celebrating iconic Japanese landmarks and tourist attractions, from Mount Fuji to Shibuya. Its most recent addition (June 2021), is a can design featuring northern regions AomoriAkita, and Iwate (formerly the Michinoku province). Coca-Cola has also released its sakura bottle design for cherry blossom season annually since 2017, another way the company connects with consumers to celebrate Japanese culture.

With 2020 keeping most consumers indoors, the use of food as a medium of travel is flourishing (read more in The New Food Tourism Agenda). As we explored in Packaging Futures 20/21, packaging is a significant element in a product experience. Coca-Cola’s designs offer consumers variation from the familiar plain red can. Capturing the excitement of exploration, the drinks function as souvenir items for both domestic tourists and locals. Starbucks, too, with its transparent cups, allows the colourful flavours representing different regions to stand out, tapping into this spirit of travel.

For more on post-Covid cooking and dining in Japan, see Japan’s New Food Culture.