Saturday, May 1, 2010
Random Weekend Picture 10
The Japanese are fairly fanatic about being anti-drug, unless the drugs of choice are alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine. There are a lot of energy drinks that are chock full of caffeine on sale in train platform kiosks and convenience stores. Tired office workers can get a big jolt of caffeine to keep them from falling asleep at their desks while they wait for the boss to finally go home (workers don't leave until the boss does, even when they have no work to do). The notion of removing caffeine just simply doesn't occur to most companies. In fact, it's very hard (thought not impossible) to find decaf coffee, and as far as I know, some Starbucks are the only coffee shops that carries it.
Because of the widespread use of caffeine, and blithe attitude toward consumption of it, I thought I'd never see caffeine-free sodas in Japan. I was quite surprised to see this display of "Coke Zero Free" a few days ago. It's both calorie and caffeine free. I'd wager though that it'll vanish from the market by the end of this year (if not sooner) because I think people really don't care enough about the caffeine. In the mean time, I'll stock up on a few for later in the day consumption.
Incidentally, Suntory has announced that the next freaky Japanese Pepsi flavor is "Pepsi Baobab". It's based on an African fruit and will be released on May 25. Watch this space for a future review. If you click on the link in the first sentence, you can see the bottle design.