Development of the non-alcoholic beer “PUHAAH” for after-sports refreshment
Adults play sports for many different reasons. What is most important for continuing sports is to find the motivation that makes you want to play your hardest. But if your motivation is health or a diet, the reality is that you will just struggle and find it difficult to continue. In the course of our research on what motivation helps people continue playing sports, people told us that they could play their hardest with the motivation of an after-sports beer. But some people also told us that they thought drinking a beer after playing sports was bad for their health, and that they felt guilty about it.
In order to support people who play sports with the motivation of a beer after they finish, Mizuno has jointly developed a non-alcoholic beer (a fizzy drink that tastes like beer) called “PUHAAH” (named for the sound you make when drinking a refreshing beverage) with Minami Shinshu Beer Co., Ltd.
When we began developing the drink, we thoroughly discussed the merits of drinking beer after playing sports. We pondered whether beer would be satisfying without having alcohol, and whether the alcohol content was truly the merit of beer but not what people would want in an after-sports beer.
After much discussion, we defined the merits sought in after-sports beer as being a way to reward yourself for hard work and a way to promote communication with your fellow athletes. We believed that by creating a beverage that can be enjoyed with peace of mind after sports, we could create a culture of enhanced enjoyment of sports for people who play with the motivation of having a beer afterwards as well as people who refrain from drinking because they think it is bad for their health. We also believe it would lead to more people beginning, playing, and continuing sports.
There are two necessary conditions: First, the drink must be non-alcoholic. This is because alcohol is a diuretic, and can cause dehydration if consumed after sports as the body uses water to break it down. Alcohol is also said to have a negative effect on building muscle. The second condition is that the drink must be refreshing and tasty, so that when you drink it after-sports, you say, “Puhaah! I’ll keep playing my hardest!”
However, Mizuno had never developed a food or beverage product such as beer before. We looked for a brewer that could give shape to our concept, and found Minami Shinshu Beer Co., Ltd. After visiting the brewery and having discussions, we agreed on the product and concept we wanted to realize. The spirit of manufacturing based on joint craftsmanship was also a major driving force behind the creation of this product, and working together with Minami Shinshu Beer brought success to the product development.
In the product development stage, we repeated a cycle in which Mizuno asked Minami Shinshu Beer to make a prototype that matched the concept, and Mizuno then conducted an after-sports taste test, gave feedback to Minami Shinshu Beer with the results, and had the company tweak the prototype. We used the same “create→ test →improve” method that Mizuno usually uses in the development of sports products. We took repeated steps to verify what tastes good to drink while eating ,what is most delicious after running and so on, and achieved the perfect taste for an after-sports beverage.
This is how we realized our concept of an “after-sports non-alcoholic beer.” After considering more than 300 naming ideas, we came up with “PUHAAH,” which expresses the value we want the product to provide.
This may be the most outlandish product in Mizuno’s history. But our goal is to create a society where everyone enjoys physical activity and a world where social issues are solved through the power of sports. Mizuno will continue to take on new challenges to make people around the world happy through the power of sports.
Co-creator: Minami Shinshu Beer Co., Ltd.
Minami Shinshu Beer Co., Ltd. produces and sells craft beer mainly in Nagano Prefecture, Japan,and is well-known to people as the first craft beer manufacturer in the prefecture.
This project began as a joint development between Mizuno, which wanted to offer new value, and Minami Shinshu Beer, which felt the need to develop a beverage with new value different from alcoholic beverages. After Mizuno shared its desire to develop a non-alcoholic beer with a new concept as well as the theme, concept, and goal, Minami Shinshu Beer began development by creating an image based on previous knowledge. In the process of refining the product, Mizuno and Minami Shinshu Beer repeatedly had competing ideas due to the differences between the sporting goods industry and the beverage industry. What is “normal” in the beverage industry is not “normal” at Mizuno, and we repeated trial and error through careful discussion and presentation of our rationale. The non-alcoholic beer “PUHAAH” that was perfected in this way is a product that is a fusion of Mizuno’s thoughts and the knowledge and technology of Minami Shinshu Beer.
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