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The Asahi Shinbun digital edition reports that Coca Cola Japan will start selling pre-mixed drinks based on sake and wine next year.

The drinks will be 1:1 mixtures of cola or other soft drinks/mixers wioth sake or wine, and will be sold through izakaya and other establishments. Per-customer spend is reported to be on a continuous decline in izakaya, while labour and materials costs keep increasing, making it hard to turn a profit.

Coca Cola’s aim is to offer a relatively low-cost drink in order to increase sales of cola and ginger ale. Pre-mixed drinks have a lower alcohol content, and reduce costs by about 2-9%.

According to Coca Cola Japan, Japanese izakaya have seen a drop in customer numbers for the last eight years, with 10% closing down over the last six years. Yearly revenue per establishment is supposed to have fallen by an average of JPY 1.2 million, seen as partially caused by young people turning away from alcohol.

A survey of izakaya customers by restaurant information site Gurunavi in December 2016 found that half of respondents in their 20s and 30s said they would prefer drinks lower in alcohol than draft beer, even if they were JPY 50-100 more expensive.

Coca Cola Japan mainly sells through vending machines and supermarkets, with less than 10% of its revenue coming from bars and restaurants. About half of these establishments serve cola or ginger ale, so they are trying to get the rest to take up the pre-mixed drinks. They hope to have 20,000 – 30,000 establishments serving them in the next year.