JAPAN: Kirin regains number one spot - report

By | 12 April 2006

Kirin Brewery has reportedly taken over the number one spot in Japan's beer rankings for the first time since 2001.

In the three months to the end of March, Kirin said its shipments in the quarter reached 37.32m cases, representing a rise of 26.5% from the corresponding period last year, according to local reports today (12 April).

The company attributed the increase primarily to strong sales of its Kirin Nodogoshi low-priced, beer-flavoured drink, a so-called "third beer", which was launched last April.

Kirin's market share has consequently risen to 38.4% during the quarter, ahead of Asahi's 36% share. Asahi announced that its shipments rose by 3.1% in the quarter to 34.94m cases.

Although the first quarter is not a high-demand period for beer, observers believe that the strong showing by Kirin in January to March augurs well for the company reaching its target of a 3.5% rise in beer sales for 2006.

However, the overall forecast for the beer market going forward remains gloomy, with flat sales or a slight decline in overall volumes predicted.

Kirin was at one time an almost unassailable market leader in Japan with a market share in excess of 60% but Asahi made strong gains following the launch of Asahi Super Dry in 1987, building from a share of around 10% to take over market leadership from Kirin in 2001.

Sectors: Beer & cider

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JAPAN: Kirin regains number one spot - report

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