"Third-Segment" Drinks Top Beer in Jan.-June Sales

Economy

Tokyo, July 10 (Jiji Press)--So-called third-segment beer-like beverages, which are relatively cheaper, topped beer in sales by volume in January-June for the first time, data from major brewers have shown.

The result reflects accelerated trends among consumers to spend less, spurred by the consumption tax hike to 10 pct from 8 pct in October last year and the spread of the novel coronavirus.

While fewer people eat out amid the epidemic, many opt to drink at home.

Third-segment products, which are about 40 pct cheaper than beer, accounted for around 50 pct of the overall beer and quasi-beer sales in the first half of 2020, according to the firms. In contrast, the share of beer slipped below 40 pct.

A liquor tax revision in October this year will raise the tax on third-segment products by about 10 yen for a 350-milliliter can. Still, Kirin Brewery Co. President Takayuki Fuse predicted that the third-segment sales volume "will not drop so much."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press