Canned cocktails gain popularity in Japan

3rd July, 2014 by Lauren Eads

Japanese brewers Suntory, Asahi and Kirin are to release their longest ever line up of canned cocktails this summer in a bid to counter a 10-year trend of declining beer sales.

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The changing tastes of Japanese drinkers have seen brewers, such as Kirin Holdings and Suntory, battle to retain the attention of audiences launching “beer-like” beverages as sweeter, cocktail concoctions have gained popularity, as reported by Reuters.

In response, Suntory is set to release 23 new canned cocktails from June to August, building on the 17 it released last year, Asahi Group Holdings launched its new bitters line in May, while Kirin announced a new range in June.

Ready-to-Drink (RTD) products are taxed at the same rate as beer, avoiding the higher tax on spirits, provided it does not exceed 9%, meaning they can be priced more cheaply than other category’s helping brands to tap into younger markets.

According to Suntory, the RTD market has almost doubled in Japan since 2001 with sales predicted to grow by 3% this year, compared to beer sales which have declined by 1%.

Suntory hopes to exceed this estimate within its own business by boosting growth of its RTD line by 3.8%.

Kirin is even more confident in their RTD range which it hopes will grow by 8.4% this year.

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