Asahi is to launch its "third category" beer brand today (20 April). The company intends to ship almost 3m cases of Asahi Shin-Nama in April alone in an attempt to capture a 30% share of the sector.

The shipment figures slot in just behind Kirin Brewery, which hopes to ship around 3.5m cases of its third category beer in April. Sapporo Breweries is looking to ship 2m cases, while Suntory plans to shift between 700,000 and 800,000 cases.

Third category drinks use ingredients other than malt and wheat, hence having lower liquor taxes than beer. The sector's low prices have helped sales rise, capturing 8% of the entire beer market last month.