Marketed under the new Mock Bar brand, the non-alcoholic sangria drink is composed of an extract of alcohol-free wine, fruit juice (orange, mango, pear, pineapple) and spices (cinnamon, mint).
Intended for a June launch, Mercian aims to sell 360,000 bottles (250ml / bottle) this year.
The ready-to-drink sangria will be sold in supermarkets, convenience stores and e-commerce platforms across Japan.
Mock Bar Brand Manager Yohei Nagaya said FoodNavigator-Asia: “In our customer survey, many consumers, especially the younger generation, responded that they like to drink, but want to enjoy their time without getting drunk, and that they want to drink products that make them feel special, even if they are not alcoholic,
“Among wine categories, sangria is popular among young people because they have a high level of experience and intention to drink it, and because it is luxurious and delicious due to its high juice content. of fruits.. “
Traditionally a beer and sake market, Mercian hopes its non-alcoholic sangria drink can attract young Japanese consumers in their 20s and 30s, who are also typically consumers of non-alcoholic beers and non-alcoholic cocktails.
The company plans to run promotions, including web and in-store campaigns, to increase consumer awareness, which will ultimately lead to increased purchasing power.
R&D for the Mock Bar range lasted 1.5 years, where the team produced over 100 prototypes.
“It wasn’t easy to create an alcohol-free sangria with a rich fruit juice feel, but by adding wine extract and spices and herbs, we were finally able to create a mature and luxurious sangria.Nagaya said.
Mercian used its wine making and juice blending technologies with Kirin Beverage’s soft drink product to develop technologies to develop Mock Bar.
The alcohol-free wine extract is derived from condensed and dealcoholized wine.
The process of making non-alcoholic sangria is different from the typical alcoholic sangria which requires fermentation. The former does not require fermentation and is made by combining wine extract, spices and fruit juices.
There are no plans to export Mock Bar at this time.
Mercian previously released an alcohol-free sparkling wine called Mercian Sparkling Alcohol Zero.
This year, Mercian will continue to accelerate its efforts to expand the market for relaxed sparkling and organic wines.
For its alcoholic range, the sales volume of Mercian’s alcoholic sangria (brand: Gyu-Gyu-to-shibotta Sangria) in 2020 reached 94% compared to the previous year.
Mercian reported revenue of JPY 62.1 billion ($ 558 million) in FY20, lower than JPY 63.9 billion in FY19 ($ 584 million).
The company’s overall revenue in FY20 was 1.8 trillion yen (US $ 16 billion). This includes Kirin Brewery, Kirin Beverage, Lion, Kyowa Kirin, Kyowa Hakko Bio, Myanmar Brewery, Coke Northeast, and Mercian.