JAPAN: Kirin returns to top, but shipments flat-line - figures
A survey of the top brewers in Japan has shown total beer and quasi-beer shipments were flat in the first three months of this year.
The survey, which collated data from Kirin Breweries, Suntory Breweries, Asahi Breweries, Sapporo Breweries and Orion Beer, was released in the country today (11 April). Total shipments from the five brewers between January and March this year rose fractionally by 0.1% year-on-year to 11.1m cases. Each case contains the equivalent of 20 633-mililitre bottles.
While shipments of beer slid by 0.7% to 52m cases and low-malt 'happoshu' sales dipped by 0.1% to 25.8m cases, third segment beverages - which contain little or no malt - were up by 2.9% to 19.4m cases.
A closer look at the figures shows that Kirin returned to the top of the brewer pile in the period, accounting for a 37.5% share in the market, edging back ahead of Asahi with 37.2%. Kirin had strong sales of its 'The Gold' brand - launched last month - to thank for its performance, the data noted.
Sapporo came in third, with 13.1% market share, ahead of Suntory (11.4%) and Orion (0.9%).
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Sapporo Holdings has rejected requests for further information from US private equity group Steel Partners, who is looking to up its stake in the brewer and soft drinks company....
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Domestic beer and beer-like drink shipments in Japan registered a slight rise last month, according to recent statistics....
Steel Partners has reignited its bid to increase its stake in Japanese brewer and soft drinks company Sapporo Holdings....
Suntory has extended its tie-up with PepsiCo in South East Asia, according to reports....
Suntory has lined up the purchase of a stake in Thai soft drinks company Tipco F&B....
Bacardi Martini has dropped its South Korean distributor and decided to go it alone in the country, just-drinks understands....
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