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Strong Zero®, a Japanese Success Story

Updated: May 19, 2022


strong zero double lemon
strong zero double lemon

In Japan, the habit of drinking alcohol at home has become more common than before. In the area of premixed cans that you can buy and drink immediately, the high alcohol segment with 7-9% alcohol is growing rapidly. Suntory's "-196°C Strong Zero" continues to lead the way in this market.


The "-196°C" technique was born in 2005. The original patented process of freezing and instant spraying the whole fruit at -196°C allows us to put the "original taste of the fruit" in the can, says Mr. Ijima, Strong Zero's marketing manager. This was not possible with conventional fruit juice alone.


Manufacturing process:


In 2009, "-196 ℃ Strong Zero" with an alcohol content of 9% was launched. A bottle that is both powerful and with an intense fruit flavor. This boosted sales very quickly.


"Create a brand that is different from others."


This unique segment is now available from various manufacturers, and you can enjoy your favorite taste. However, in the early 2000s, it was said that he was a little confused by Suntory.


"The Chu-His (editor's note: vodka mixed with fruit) launched by other companies in 2001 represented the majority of the market share, and for several years it was in a state of strength and weakness. The product made no sense, so the company was charged with creating a strong and valuable brand.



What is a well valued brand?


"I thought that if you create a new taste that other companies can't do, it will become an asset and a strong brand. ''


Therefore, "-196 °C" has been developed to freeze and instantly dissolve the whole fruit. Until then, the taste of the fruit was recreated using only fruit juice. The fruit skin and flesh have also been used here to create a deep-flavoured drink that includes acidity and bitterness.


The principle of "the use of whole fruits, is a unique point of differentiation. It will be a force to persuade the consumer. When we made our first proposal internally, we were strongly encouraged by Suntory's "Do it all", and we were able to commercialize it."


"It is also the driving force behind the "-196°C Strong Zero" concept. There was no strong brand in this market before; the idea that we need to do something is not only in marketing but also in development and production. The freezing method is one of the answers I proposed."


The wait-and-see competition


"Before other companies launched the product, we were already studying the development of high alcohol can products. We thought there was an option to increase the strength while keeping the product easy to drink. Another reason is that in 2008, the Lehman shock caused a recession and the number of customers drinking at home increased. I was also attentive to the global trend of the economy. ''


"The selling point for other companies' products is only strong alcohol. However, our product has also created an attraction for "sugar-free" products.


"If you love alcohol, you also care about your health. The functionality of the "Saccharide Zero" was one of the main reasons why customers finally decided to buy. "Strong, but zero sugars. It was supported by customers, which was the objective from the beginning, with both a response to alcohol consumption and an important quality for modern consumers."


"The original manufacturing method using the whole fruit, the compatibility of functionality that other companies do not have, and the combination of these two, I think we were able to get ahead of other companies' products from the beginning. From now on, how to feed the brand has become a new challenge, although the field of high-grade alcohol "-196 ℃ Strong Zero" has gained customer support, but it is now a competitive field in Japan.


Other tastes, often using seasonal fruits, have therefore been developed in order to always surprise the consumer and offer new products all the time.


- translated from Japanese, source: rikunabi.com

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