Japan: Latest beverage news & analysis
The long-accepted truth for Japan's beer market is that domestic consumption is in long-term decline, forcing the country's brewers to look overseas for growth.
It is 40 years since Tsutomu Kamijo walked in the door at Sapporo, but he remembers it like it was yesterday.
Sapporo Holdings is one of Japan's biggest alcohol and soft drinks producers and the country's oldest brewer. This month, Andy Morton met with its president, Tsutomu Kamijo, to discuss why he'd like to get his hands on Anheuser-Busch InBev's Pilsner Urquell, the state of play in Vietnam and why even BrewDog's founder gets excited about Sapporo's beer.
This month, Ray Rowlands follows the progress of the latest Japanese company to look beyond its domestic market: DyDo Drinco has high hopes for its entry into Turkey.
Last week, Japan's Suntory Holdings reported a healthy rise in first-quarter sales and operating profits. Here, just-drinks takes a closer look at the group's beverage results:
Sapporo Holdings' renewed focus on beer is paying off as profits last year surged on the back of fresh domestic growth for its core lager brands.
Asahi Group's alcohol and soft drinks units drove up sales and profits last year to deliver a strong performance for the Japanese conglomerate.
Suntory Group has made the integration of Beam Suntory a "top priority", as the unit, which the Japanese group acquired three years ago, delivered a mid-single-digit lift in sales for the 12 months of 2016.
Kirin Holdings is on the hunt for "investment opportunities" across South-East Asia as it posted a lift in full-year sales and a return to profit in 2016.
Japan's saké exports jumped 10% last year as the international appeal of Japanese cuisine continued to grow, according to a report.
Domestic beer volumes in Japan fell by 3% last year as shipments from all five major brewers declined, according to local reports.
Suntory Holdings is sending staff to health camps amid worries the beverage company's employees are more obese than those in other industries, according to a report.
Suntory Holdings has confirmed to just-drinks it has no plans to list its international spirits unit, Beam Suntory.
Sapporo Holdings is keen to acquire Czech brewer Pilsner Urquell, its president has told just-drinks, but only if the unit is separated from Anheuser-Busch InBev's other former SABMiller assets.
Beam Suntory has hailed a healthy lift in sales in the year so far, although domestic beer has pulled down the top-line for parent Suntory Holdings.
Japanese beverage firm Otsuka Pharmaceutical is claiming a world-first with plans to send a can of Pokari Sweat to the moon.
Will Suntory's US$16bn move to buy Beam see a change in how the Bourbon producer's brands are advertised?
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