Suntory Holdings has released a strategy outlook

Suntory Holdings has released a strategy outlook

Suntory Holdings is to target non-alcoholic beer sales in Japan this year, as it seeks continued momentum across its domestic alcohol businesses.

In a broad-ranging strategy outlook for 2014, released today (9 January), the Japanese group predicted a 15% sales jump in Japan for its All-Free brand, a non-alcoholic “beer-type beverage” that will undergo a relaunch this year. The push aims to help Suntory increase its beer business sales this year by 4% despite an expected 1% drop in the overall Japanese beer market.

The company hopes to increase its alcoholic beer sales by 3% in 2014.

According to today's strategy report, Suntory hit record high beer sales in Japan last year, up by 3% against an overall 1% drop in the market.

Suntory's wine business also found growth in 2013, up by 4% in sales. The group said it expects an 8% increase in sales this year, driven by domestic labels such as Sankaboshizai Mutenka no Oishii, an antioxidant, additive-free wine that posted a 39% sales increase last year to break 1m cases for the first time.

In liqueurs and spirits, Suntory predicts a 56% sales increase in its ready-to-serve business after its Funwari Kyogetsu and Cocktail Tours brands enjoyed “such favourable growth (last year) that we upwardly revised our annual plan”.

Looking abroad, Suntory said it will strengthen its marketing campaigns, and in Europe and the US focus on premium whiskey brands Yamazaki, Hakushu, and Hibiki.

Suntory's soft drinks division, Suntory Beverage & Food, last year raised close to US$4bn in Japan's biggest IPO of 2013. The unit later purchased GlaxoSmithKline's Ribena and Lucozade brands, a deal that was completed today.