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October 18, 2022

Fever-Tree signs Asahi Japan distribution deal

The company is seeing momentum in the markets housed in its ‘Rest of World’ reporting division.

By James Beeson

Fever-Tree has penned an exclusive three-year distribution deal with Asahi in Japan, the UK-based mixers manufacturer has announced.

The deal will see Asahi’s alcoholic beverages division – Asahi Breweries – distribute its products in the Japanese market from January. Fever-Tree was previously distributed in conjunction with a local partner on a small scale in the country.

The London-listed firm said the deal with Asahi represented a “significant market opportunity”, as it looks to cash in on “rising consumer demand not only for long-mixed drinks but also premium adult soft drinks” in the market.

“We have seen that demand for premium long mixed drinks such as gin and tonics and Moscow mules has been accelerating in many markets around the world and now we are seeing this trend come to Japan,” Fever-Tree CEO Tim Warrillow said. “Alongside this is the size of the adult soft drink category which continues to evolve and grow across the region.

“We are therefore delighted to be partnering with a company of the status, size and influence of Asahi Breweries to go after these opportunities, drawing on their local expertise and strong distribution network.

“We now have a significant opportunity to grow our presence in the Japanese market and ultimately bring great-tasting long mixed drinks and adult soft drinks to more consumers.”

Asahi Breweries CEO Kenichi Shiozawa added: “We are pleased to offer Fever-Tree in Japan, a high-quality premium mixer brand that leads the global mixer market. Asahi will deliver new value to Japanese consumers, mixing with Fever-Tree and our brand portfolio”

Japan is part of Fever-Tree’s ‘Rest of World’ reporting division, which the company says grew by 20% in 2021, and now represents around 12% of total revenues for the group.

Other Asian markets in which the firm has a presence include China, Singapore, Hong-Kong, Vietnam and South Korea. Just Drinks understands the continent is presently less than 5% of overall group revenues, however.

Soft drinks continue to perform strongly in Japan, with the market reaching a value of US$55.1bn in 2021, according to GlobalData. By 2027, it is predicted to be worth $87.7bn, giving the category a five year compound annual growth rate of 5.95%.

Last month, Fever-Tree diversified its offering in the US with the acquisition of non-sparkling mixers brand Powell & Mahoney. The brand’s drinks are manufactured in a production facility in Chicago, a factor that appealed to Fever-Tree when making the deal, according to US CEO Charles Gibb.

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