3rd-Segment Products Key for Major Japanese Brewers

Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 10 (Jiji Press)--Four major Japanese brewers are aiming to win customers this year by promoting "third-segment" beer-like beverages, which have little or no malt content and therefore are priced lower than regular beer.

The companies are redoubling efforts to boost sales, as Japan's consumption tax rate is set to be raised to 10 pct from 8 pct in October and the country's beer and quasi-beer market continues shrinking partly reflecting falling demand from young consumers.

Of the four players, Sapporo Breweries Ltd. estimates sales of its beer, "happoshu" law-malt quasi-beer and third-segment beverages this year at 44.5 million cases, down 0.3 pct from 2018.

The other three project growth, with sales seen up 2.2 pct at 150.5 million cases at Asahi Breweries Ltd., 2.0 pct at 137.8 million cases at Kirin Brewery Co. and 3.0 pct at 64.6 million cases at Suntory Beer Ltd.

Each case contains the equivalent of 20 633-milliliter bottles.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press