The aggressive pricing trend in the Japanese happoshu market looks set to continue with Japanese brewer, Asahi Breweries Ltd, announcing plans to drop the price of its happoshu low malt drink in late-June. The company will reduce the price of the 350ml can of its primary low-malt beer brand by Y10 to Y135 ($1.09) and will cut the price of the 500ml can from Y195 to Y185.

The move follows the announcement of Suntory's plans to launch a new happoshu brand retailing at Y135 for a 350ml can and Y185 yen for a 500ml can. All four major Japanese breweries are being highly aggressive in their pricing of happoshu - which is already significantly cheaper than standard beer - to boost sales during the peak summer season. Asahi and Suntory have matched the prices for happoshu currently being offered by Kirin and Sapporo.

But the lowest-priced happoshu product on the market will be Suntory's "Ad Nama" brand. This brand, scheduled to launch in June, will carry advertising for other companies on its label, with Suntory using the ad revenues to subsidise the brand, allowing it to retail at Y128 for a 350ml.