Best-selling Japanese RTD -196 Double Lemon is arriving on Australian shelves in June. Beam Suntory is adding the drink to its Japanese portfolio following the success of Koyomi Shochu RTDs.
The name -196 is a reference to the intense production process involved in creating the product. Remember when you witnessed the explosion of liquid nitrogen in science class at school? Beam Suntory uses exactly that technique: a whole lemon frozen in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of (you guessed it) -196°C, then pulverized and soaked in alcohol – creating an extreme lemon drink.
The premix blend is made from shochu, vodka, soda, and lemon, and uses Suntory’s unique “Freeze Crush Infusion Technology”, which freezes and crushes real fruit to capture every bit of natural lemon flavour.
“Aussies who’ve travelled to Japan show a genuine love for one of its biggest and fastest-growing RTD brands and cult favourites and we know that the love will be fulfilled by -196 Double Lemon,” said Beam Suntory Director of Innovation, Kay Oh. “We also foresee growth via newcomers to the Japanese-style premix category with the launch of this popular drink.
“We want Aussies to feel like they’re enjoying the real deal straight from the fridge of a convenience store in Tokyo. The product is unmistakably Japanese, and we have no doubt that it will make waves for young Aussies looking for a high ABV (6%) drink that delivers next-level refreshment.”
The launch of Koyomi Shochu RTDs in Australia in 2019 was a first for the local market. The 250ml canned range consists of three flavours: Blood Orange and Bitters, Mandarin and Grapefruit, and Yuzu and Lime.
“Koyomi Highball embodies the cool, modern and sophisticated factor of Japan,” Oh said. “Blended with shōchū, and popular Japanese flavours, Koyomi Highball provides a unique drinking experience that transports you to Japan.
“We have been seeing the rise of Asian spirits globally and no surprise that interesting Shochu cocktail menus are popping up in trend setting bars in the cities like New York and London. Koyomi Shochu FBS has been very well received by on-premise venues in Australia so far. I am sure that you will be able to enjoy unique Shochu experience at the venues like Chin Chin (Sydney and Melbourne) and Kisume (Melbourne).”
KOYOMI Shochu spirit has also recently launched in Australia and Oh has been enjoying creating cocktails with it at home.
“My favourite is Koyomi Shochu mixed with Soda and citrus – yuzu is the best if you can get your hands on it. But Koyomi Shochu on the rocks is also a pleasurable drink even for Shochu beginners. For those consumers who would like to give their creative flairs at home, please try cocktail recipes from our web site at Koyomishochu.com.au as there are plenty of interesting recipes. If you come up with something new, please let us know!”
As for what’s next for Beam Suntory is taking in 2021 in this rapidly changing landscape, Oh promises there are plenty more innovations in the pipeline.
“As with all businesses and industry sectors across the world, Beam Suntory is re-pivoting our business by better understanding consumers’ consumption and purchase behaviours post COVID-19 pandemic,” Oh said. “During 2020 we have seen extraordinary growth in spirits and RTD category as consumers had to shift their consumption at home, while many of our on-premise customers could not operate at 100% capacity.
“We have seen consumers opting for well-known brands, premium products as well as less calorie/sugar choices. We have been very fortunate in Australia to experience the country returning to almost normalcy, and we are certain 2021 will be different from 2020 or 2019. We will continue to learn and leverage our strong brands in the portfolio as well as bring new ones to the market.”
With only 0.3 grams of sugar and 122 calories per can, -196 will be available at leading liquor stores from August; priced at RRP $22 (four pack) and $47 (10 pack).
Categories: New releases