4 Japan Major Brewers Log Sales Drops in May

Economy

Tokyo, June 10 (Jiji Press)--Four major Japanese brewers saw their sales of beer and beer-like products fall in May from a year before, data from the firms showed Wednesday.

The drops were smaller than those in April since consumption at home grew with people refraining from going out amid the novel coronavirus crisis although demand from businesses remained low due to the epidemic. The reopenings of some eating and drinking establishments also helped mitigate the extent of the falls.

Sales volume dropped 9 pct at Kirin Brewery Co., 4 pct at Suntory Beer Ltd. and 20 pct at Sapporo Breweries Ltd. Sales declined 22 pct in value at Asahi Breweries Ltd.

Sales of canned beer and quasi-beer, mainly for households, remained robust in general as people stayed at home waiting out the epidemic. So-called third-segment quasi-beers were especially popular among budget-minded consumers because the products, with little or no malt content, are relatively cheap.

Sales of Kirin's "Honkirin" third-segment product grew 45 pct. Asahi and Sapporo saw their new products launched in February or later perform well, leading the firms to revise up their annual sales targets.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press