Innovation That Matters

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New drink looks like water but tastes like beer

Food & Drink

A new non-alcoholic beer that looks like water but mimics the taste of beer promotes social drinking in the workplace while also lowering social stigma.

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A new trend may be taking hold of the Japanese soft drinks market – clear, low-calorie drinks that taste similar to unhealthy drinks. This summer, Japanese drinks manufacturer Suntory launched a clear, non-alcoholic beer packaged in a plastic bottle. The company had previously launched an amber-coloured, alcohol-free beer called All-Free. Although All-Free was advertised as perfect for office imbibing, the drink was not popular. One reason might be that people did not want to be mistaken for drinking alcohol at their desk. The new colourless beer is called All-Free All-Time, emphasising that it is more like a soft drink and can be drunk at any time.

All-Free All-Time is not Suntory’s only clear offering. The company’s first clear drink was Tennensui Premium Morning Tea Lemon, a clear lemon tea. This was followed up with a milk tea version and a peach-flavoured version. The tea is made by passing water vapour through tea leaves. This extracts the flavour but not the colour. The ‘transparent milk’ in the tea is made by extracting lactose and milk minerals while discarding the milk fat and protein that gives milk its while colour. Meanwhile, Suntory competitor Asahi Group Holdings has released its own clear drink. Their clear latte is packaged in a plastic bottle. It has just 60 calories, and no caffeine. It is made using espresso extract and whey minerals.

Takeaway: The clear drinks trend seems to echo a demand for drinks that at least appear healthier. Suntory points out that the non-alcoholic beer allows people to participate in social drinking without the negative health consequences. At Springwise, we have seen this trend for new drinks experiences such as an alcoholic beverage made from tofu and a glass that can change the taste of drinks. Will the trend for clear drinks prove popular outside Japan?




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