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New 100% Malt Beer
Asahi Breweries: Asahi Super Malt. A draft beer made from 100% barley malt. This beer has a functional and healthy image and at the same time it is a satisfying beer with good flavor. The same strain of yeast is used as that for Asahi Super Dry, the top selling beer in Japan. This is a light beer with an alcohol content of 3.5% [Japanese beers usually have an alcohol content of 5% or more] and a calorie content reduced by 30% compared with other Asahi beers.

Asahi claims to have created a new category of beer in Japan. Sales target 5 million cases this year (calculated as large bottles). Gradual national launch. 300 ml can Y187, 350 ml can Y218, 500 ml can Y286, 334 ml steiny glass bottle Y189 (all plus tax). The 300 ml can is a new can size for beer, it is aimed at women in their 20s and 30s. The beer market has seen minus growth in 1999 so competition is intense. Beer is also facing a challenge from happoshu, popular in the recession as it is cheaper than beer.

Low-Alcohol Cocktails
Calpis Co.: Calpis Smoothie Cocktail. A low-alcohol cocktail with a high natural fruit juice content, based on the non-alcoholic drink originating from the USA. Two varieties - peach mix, citrus mix, both have an alcohol content of 4% and a fruit juice content of 30%. The peach mix variety contains peach and apple juice, the citrus mix contains orange and grapefruit. Unique production method developed to prevent precipitation. 170 ml glass bottles with pull-off cap Y200.

Mercian: Oak Master. Whiskey for the retail sale trade. This is a whiskey with a dry flavor. Alcohol content 37%. Filled into large PET bottles. 2.7 liters Y2,980 and in smaller 660 ml PET bottle Y880.

Sapporo Breweries: Polaire Bonne Sante healthy wine produced in Japan. Two new varieties - pomegranate plus, ginger plus. Both wines contain added trehalose [effective against osteoporosis]. The pomegranate plus is a red wine with an alcohol content of 5%, a light body, slightly sweet made with pomegranate juice and honey. The ginger plus is a white wine with an alcohol content of 5%, also slightly sweet. 500 ml bottle Y490, 12 per case. This range was launched last year

Office Coffee and Tea Service
Master Foods Ltd: Favia Drink System. A new table-top drink extraction system for preparing regular coffee, tea or a cocoa drink in the office or food service establishment. The consumer just pushes a button and in 30 seconds the drink is prepared. Prepacked, single portion sachets of regular coffee (6 varieties), tea (five varieties) or cocoa (two varieties), a total choice of 13 varieties. The sachets are the Flavia fresh pack which shuts out oxygen to maintain the contents in a fresh state. No price details given.

Ready-to-drink Coffee
Calpis Co.: Blendy Cafe, La Mode. Two new varieties in this series of RTD coffee made by Ajinomoto General Foods and marketed by Calpis Co. - Euro Blend, Black No Sugar. The 100% arabica coffee beans are deep roast for a rich flavor. This European style canned coffee has a rich flavor but with almost no acid or astringent taste and just the right degree of bitterness for an enjoyable drink. The Euro Blend contains milk and sugar in a balanced blend with the deep roast (French style) coffee. These coffee drinks are made with 20% more roast coffee beans than previous products. 190 g can Y115, 30 cans/case.

Ready-to-drink Tea
Asahi Beverage: Asahi Hertea. A black tea drink with herbs. Made from high quality aromatic Darjeeling and rich bright aroma Assam leaf teas from India in a 1:1 blend, plus herbs from India (lime, lemon grass and lemon balm) for a refreshing flavor and aroma and soothing effect. 280 g can Y115, 250 ml brick carton Y100, 500 ml PET bottle Y140. Sales target 450,000 cases.

Fruit Drinks with Milk
Meiji Milk Prod.: Meiji Red Apple Green Apple [translation]. A blend of the fruit of red apples and green apples plus milk and Chinese quince extract. Fruit juice content less than 10%. The drink has the sweetness of apples and the mildness of milk, a good combination. The quince is a traditional ingredient in throat candy. This is a drink on limited seasonal sale for the winter only. 500 ml gable-top carton Y100, 20 per cases.

Near Water Drinks
Pokka Corp.: Pokka Sakuranbo-no Oishii Mizu [delicious cherry water]. A near water drink made from spring water flavored with cherry juice. This drink is unusual for 2 reasons - the flavor and the packaging. Pokka has used the paper-based Cartoncan 250 g Y115

Functional Drinks
Coca-Cola Group: Qoo. This is a new type of calcium and vitamin-fortified fruit juice drink from Coca-Cola. It supplies the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin C. This drink has a 20% fruit juice content, in two varieties - orange, apple. Light and refreshing, it is aimed at children aged 7-10 years, so the main target is their mothers. The pack features a cute character to appeal to children. Pack size range: 1.5 liter PET bottle Y336, 500 ml PET bottle Y147, 350 g can Y120, 250 g can Y120, 6 x 160 g can multipack Y420 (tax included in all cases).

This article was published in Japanscan, to order a free copy of Japanscan or to subscribe, please click here for details.

Companies: Sapporo Holdings

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