After conducting a survey of people’s drinking habits, beverage-maker Kirin discovered that Japanese people in their 20s just weren’t drinking as much as their elders. While for many this would be an optimistic sign that the younger generation is becoming a group of sober and hardworking members of society, for those in the alcohol business it’s a sucker punch to the bottom line.

So, in an effort to keep younger drinkers off the wagon, Kirin is meeting them 99 percent of the way by offering a line of drinks aptly named “Butterfly” which contain only one percent of alcohol by volume.

Kirin’s survey revealed that men and women in their twenties do enjoy drinking, but they often refrain from it out of concern for its effect on their health and daily lives. Some say they don’t want to feel hungover the next day at work while others don’t mind a buzz but want to keep a clear mind to enjoy their hobbies more.

According to many countries’ regulations, humans can break down the alcohol in drinks with under half a percent alcohol by volume faster than they can drink them. So technically it is possible to get wasted from a one-percent drink, but you’d have to drink a lot and quickly to do so.

This means you can enjoy Butterfly without worried about getting overly (or in many cases even remotely) drunk. They are based on cider but come in three playfully named flavors: Take it easy! Apple; Let’s Go! Ginger; and Happy-Go-Lucky Tea. Something about their use of the exclamation mark keeps making me think Take it easy! Apple should end with You’re Killing Him! but that’s neither here nor there.

It’s hard to say whether the youth of today will embrace Butterfly drinks when they hit shelves on 10 March in cans of 250mL (8.5oz). I know my own line of low-alcohol drinks didn’t get a loyal customer base with flavors such as: Poop or Get Off the Pot! Peach; Let’s…Crap, Where Are My Keys! Kiwi; and Wishy-Washy Watermelon.

Let’s hope Kirin’s marketing is better.

Source: Kirin via Entabe (Japanese)