Sapporo Holdings enters South Korea with Maeil Dairy tie-up

Sapporo Holdings enters South Korea with Maeil Dairy tie-up

Sapporo Holdings has said it will enter South Korea's beer market via a tie-up with the country's leading dairy group, Maeil Dairy Industry Co.

The South Korean company will distribute and sell Sapporo's beers across the country's network of restaurants, supermarkets and convenience stores, Sapporo said yesterday (25 November). The brewer, which is the smallest of Japan's 'big four' beer makers, said that it plans to sell 300,000 cases of beer in South Korea next year, equivalent to 7.2m 350ml cans. It plans to sell 1.5m cases by 2015.

The move follows Sapporo's entry into Vietnam earlier this year and is another example of Japan's brewers seeking to reduce their reliance on a stagnant domestic drinks market. Japan's beer market shrank by 2.5% in the first nine months of 2010.

Sapporo said that it would consider expanding its alliance with Maeil Dairy in the future, although it did not give specific details. It said that, for the time being, the tie-up will have a minimal impact on earnings.