Alcoholic Cans Concept innovation ; Suntory’s approach aiming to Spark Interest Among Younger Consumers
Boldly Named: Suntory’s Innovative Approach to Attracting Youth Amidst ‘Alcohol Abstinence’ Trend

“The One Tanaka Always Drinks First:”

“The Beverage That Makes You Say ‘Wait, This is Good'”

“Instantly, a Drink that Makes You Start Complimenting Others”

“The Liquor that Tasted Amazing During a Trip to Spain.”

Suntory has released alcoholic canned beverages in collaboration with the “Cafe/Bar Your Friends Run” in Harajuku, Tokyo. The cans, named uniquely like “The One Tanaka Always Drinks First,” come in four variations. Initially, they are available at FamilyMart and Don Quijote stores, with plans for broader convenience store distribution. The aim is to attract the younger demographic, addressing concerns about a decline in alcohol consumption among them.

Mr. Myoen emphasized the importance of simulating a friendly customer experience, inspired by the casual atmosphere of the “Cafe/Bar Your Friends Run.” This establishment, which opened in April 2023, offers a unique experience with staff using informal language like “Long time no see!” and discussing drinks with unconventional names.

Popular among Generation Z and young people on social media, Suntory approached the cafe/bar in June 2023 to turn their concept into a product. Two varieties were released: “Your Friends’ Bar (Gin & Tonic)” with 5% alcohol content and “Your Friends’ Sangria” with 4%. The packaging features quirky names like “The Drink That Was Amazing in Spain,” chosen from around 500 options. Suntory aimed to make the taste familiar while presenting a distinctive packaging.

Kakeru, the operator of the cafe/bar, focused on creating a pseudo-experience of friendly service. Mr. Myoen expressed the hope that the drinks would facilitate communication. The selected names, such as “That Tanaka,” refer to a generic person from people’s memories. Suntory’s Ms. Miho Nakamura highlighted the enjoyment of creating a sense of familiarity with the naming.

Mr. Myoen, known for projects like “JANAI COFFEE” and “The Exhibition of People Who Are Too Good,” has consistently produced content resonating with young audiences. He believes in the era of “1 billion photographers” and aims to create places where everyone can become creators.

The packaging, even for bulk purchases, includes playful messages like “You, who bought in bulk, are a great friend.” The web page adopts an informal tone. Mr. Myoen stated that all customer touchpoints should be amusing, sowing seeds of interest and waiting for customers to spread them.

The sales target for 2024 is 75,000 cases, with plans for nationwide convenience store and supermarket distribution. Despite uncertainties, Mr. Myoen remains optimistic, stating, “Every time is nerve-wracking. If it sells, it’s lucky.”

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