There, for a time being was a big hoopla over a limited edition “Cucumber Pepsi” that were sold in Japanese conbinis. Apparently a marketing gimmick, Pepsi of Japan marketed the drink for a limited run, and then, in a bid to perhaps to create an aura of legend behind(if one can indeed create a legend around a sody-pop), stopped making any more of the stuff.
In the latest issue of Business Week, there’s an article about it:
“Only a lucky few ever got to try Pepsi’s Ice Cucumber soda. The pale green drink began appearing on shelves at Japanese convenience stores in early June… A couple of weeks later, all 4.8million bottles of Ice Cucumber had sold out. But instead of ratcheting up production, Pepsi brand managers in Japan did the unthinkable: They discontinued the drink. “We didn’t want it on the market past the summer,” says Keiko Ishihara, who oversees PepsiCo Inc. (PEP ) sales for Suntory, the Tokyo beverage maker that markets the soda giant’s products in Japan. “The value of Ice Cucumber is that it’s gone already.”
It might seem strange to kill off a product at the peak of its popularity. But for Pepsi, Ice Cucumber was largely a marketing stunt: a way to generate buzz for the brand in what is arguably the world’s most cutthroat beverage market. It’s a $30 billion-a-year business in Japan, spanning everything from run-of-the-mill brown colas to drinks derived from green tea, coffee, and even kimchee, the spicy cabbage mix that is a staple of Korean cuisine. Of the estimated 1,500 drinks that come to market each year, only a handful survive long enough to win a loyal following.”
This is what I find most perplexing. Not the fact that the drink was on the market for a couple of weeks, but rather, this writer of the article mentions a “drink derived from ‘kimchee’, the spicy cabbage mix that is a staple of Korean cuisine.”
I suspect the reporter has never traveled to Japan, and certainly not for this story, since the whole “Kimchi Drink” thing is a hoax, perpetrated first here, at good ol’ Tigers and Cranes. Here’s the article from September of last year, where I talk about “Kimchi Coolpis”, a non-existent beverage thought to be found in Korea, and certainly not in Japan.
Don’t believe everything you hear…