Two popular and growing Japanese brands have rejoined Coca-Cola’s roster of billion-dollar brands based on 2016 results. Ayataka, a green tea brand, and I LOHAS, a premium mineral water brand, both crossed the $1 billion retail sales mark in 2016 after temporarily dropping from the list at the end of 2015 due to the strength of the U.S. dollar versus the Japanese yen.
Coca-Cola Japan launched I LOHAS – an acronym for “lifestyles of health and sustainability” – in 2009 and today it is one of the most popular mineral water brands in Japan. In addition to the original mineral water version, I LOHAS is also available in flavored variants such as apple and mandarin orange and in lightly carbonated versions such as I LOHAS Cider. The brand continued its growth momentum in Japan during 2016 thanks in large part to the launch of I LOHAS pear and peach. It also boasts sustainability credentials that have made it popular with Japanese consumers. Its lightweight, twistable PET packaging makes it easy to recycle.
Ayataka, which marks its 10th anniversary this year, was developed in 2007 with venerable tea shop Kanbayashi Shunsho Honten of Uji, Kyoto. The brand delivers authentic green tea taste just like consumers regularly brew at home, but available on-the-go. The light, refreshing, palatable green tea with minimal bitterness retains the inherent umami of green tea as if brewed in a teapot. The addition of a new variant called Ayataka Nigorihonoka drove additional growth for the brand in Japan during 2016, especially among women and young adults.
“I LOHAS and Ayataka are great examples of our culture of innovation at Coca-Cola,” said Khalil Younes, executive vice president of marketing and new businesses, Coca-Cola Japan. “We are excited about the future growth potential of these brands and many more that are emerging within Coca-Cola Japan and markets around the world.”
Foreign currency impacts on Coke’s billion-dollar brands during 2016 contributed to the removal of water brand Bonaqua from the list. Bonaqua, which is sold primarily in Europe and Asia, joined the billion-dollar club in 2013.
Each year, The Coca-Cola Company converts all sales globally from local currency to U.S. dollars for the purpose of compiling its billion-dollar brand list, which sometimes results in brands like Bonaqua, I LOHAS or Ayataka no longer surpassing the $1 billion threshold.
Since 2006, The Coca-Cola Company has added 11 brands to its billion-dollar portfolio across a range of beverage categories. A pipeline of 15 additional brands currently generate annual retail sales between $500 million and $1 billion.
With the 2016 changes, Coke’s billion-dollar brand list now includes 21 brands, up from 20 in 2015.
From A to V: Coke’s Billion-Dollar Brands
Here are The Coca-Cola Company’s 21 billion-dollar brands, listed alphabetically:
4. Coca-Cola Zero
6. Del Valle
7. Diet Coke/Coke Light
9. FUZE TEA
11. Gold Peak
12. Ice Dew
13. I LOHAS
14. Minute Maid
15. Minute Maid Pulpy