Kirin Beverage Corp. is targeting a healthy rise in soft drink sales in Japan this year, according to local reports.

Japanese News Digest said today (16 January) that the soft drink associate of Kirin Brewery is aiming for an 11% lift on 2006 soft drink sales, to around 204m cases. Last year, soft drink sales at Kirin rose 3% on 2005, to 184.5m cases, the news service noted.

As part of a medium-term plan at the company, Kirin Beverage hopes for a rise in sales of its five main soft drinks brands - Nama-cha green tea, Gogo-no-Kocha black tea, Fire coffee, Alkali Ion Water and Volvic mineral water - of around 12% to 145m cases.

The news digest also said that Kirin Beverage will launch more brands between March and April, but did not expand on what the new brands will be.