Japanese beer for children – Kodomo no nomimono

Can you imagine these products being marketed overseas? With so much concern about “the children” these days we doubt that fake beer for kids would make it past the pitch stage at any beverage company. Well, almost any company. Sure, there’s the sparkling grape juice that kids sometimes get on New Years Eve in lieu of champagne, but to have it specifically marketed to kids is a different matter. While Americans would likely overreact and freak out, we haven’t seen any such reaction here in Japan and these drinks have been out for a couple of years now.

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Sangaria started their line of fake alcoholic drinks for kids with Kodomo no nomimono (Children’s drink), and has been successful enough to offer it in bottles, cans, and even six-packs. They also expanded the product line to include children’s versions of wine, champagne, and cocktails. The beer, flavored like apple juice, even foams at the top when poured into a glass!

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Doesn’t the kid with the onigiri look alot surlier with a beer in front of him?

The differences between the West and Japan are often highlighted the most in the little things in life, and this is definitely one of them. Japan is well known for its group drinking culture, and this is actually a great way to include the kids during family celebrations. These are even sold at restaurants, which is ideal since most parties in Japan are done outside of the home. Of course, if find your four-year-old passed out in front of the TV with a pile of empty fake beer cans around him, it might be time for a kodomo no intervention.

Pictures of children via Sangaria

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About the Author

Michael is founder and director of the Mandalah Tokyo trends and innovation consultancy.