Low to go: Japan's CHOYA Sarari reduces alcohol content and price to appeal to younger demographic

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

The latest additions to Sarari’s line-up contain lower alcohol content and are “priced affordably” to appeal to young consumers. ©CHOYA
The latest additions to Sarari’s line-up contain lower alcohol content and are “priced affordably” to appeal to young consumers. ©CHOYA

Related tags Japan Alcohol low ABV Alcoholic beverage Choya

Japanese firm CHOYA has added two new products to its Sarari line-up, both of which contain lower alcohol content and are “priced affordably”, to appeal to a younger demographic.

Building on decades of experience in crafting premium umeshu-based alcoholic beverages, CHOYA’s Sarari range has continuously offered fresh takes on the classic sweet and tangy notes of plum fruit liqueur, aiming to cater to both Japanese and international consumers.

The latest additions to Sarari’s line-up, namely CHOYA Sarari Smooth and Light 500ml and CHOYA Sarari Yuzu Smooth and Fruity 500ml, are recommended to be drank on the rocks, or chilled and straight.

According to Yuki Shimizu, Director at CHOYA, one of the reasons for the lower alcohol content in the new products is to save on excise duties, and in turn, lower selling prices.

“Imported alcohol products, including CHOYA, are very expensive in ASEAN markets due to high excise duties, which are determined by alcohol content and volume. These new offerings not only reflect our dedication to upholding the essence of umeshu, but also cater to a wider audience, from connoisseurs to those new to the world of premium beverages,” ​he told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

The firm hopes that with the reduced alcohol content, it would enhance the ease of consumption and allow a more affordable price point, making it an appealing option particularly for newcomers.

“Alcoholic beverages with low alcohol content (7.5%) and some RTDs, such as chuhai canned drinks, are increasingly popular. Therefore, we have developed the products based on this ‘easy to drink’ concept, targeting the younger generation, alcohol beginners, and those who want to drink alcohol but are unable to take strong liquor.

“At the same time, the reasonable pricing will also reach out to a bigger customer range. For instance, the Retail Sale Price (RSP) of our signature product, CHOYA Golden Ume Fruit 650ml, is about SGD35 to SGD40, but the RSP for the new products are around SGD20.”

In addition, Shimizu said that CHOYA products are especially favoured by women drinkers — a consumer group that is growing across the globe and that the brand also seeks to attract — for their unique sweet and sour taste.

Yuzu’s appeal in ASEAN

The CHOYA Sarari Smooth and Light 500ml claims to retain authentic plum wine flavours, despite a lowered alcohol content, due to the firm’s proprietary production process.

On the other hand, the CHOYA Sarari Yuzu Smooth and Fruity 500ml, with alcohol content of 7.5%, comes with a crisp and invigorating flavour profile owing to the yuzu-infused components.

“Yuzu flavour is getting very popular around the world. Especially in ASEAN markets, the flavour is well loved not only in alcohol, but also in foods and drinks. Our CHOYA Yuzu 750ml (ABV 14.7%) is a product that sells very well, too,” ​Shimizu added.

The Sarari brand is currently available in various markets across Asia-Pacific, including Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, China, and Australia.

In Singapore, where Shimizu is based, Sarari products are sold online at sake.sg and on major e-commerce platforms, as well as retailers including FairPrice, Meidi-Ya, and Don Don Donki.

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