Total beer and happoshu shipments in Japan fell by 2.7% in May, according to figures released by the five major brewers, but once more sales of traditional beer dropped at the expense of the cheaper alternative, happoshu.

For the 72nd consecutive month, happoshu shipments increased, rising in May by 11.8% to 233,404 kls, with volumes of regular beer falling by 10.3% 359,045 kls. Sales in the happoshu sector are being further fuelled by an intensifying price war between the major suppliers. Beer now accounts for 60.6% of the total market, with happoshu representing 39.4%.