Japan's major brewers reported that the low-malt drink, "happoshu", accounted for a record 43.5% of total beer shipments in February, the first time they have topped the 40% mark, as consumers continued to switch to the cheaper alternative to beer. Happoshu shipments were up by 28.7% in February to 189,026 kilolitres. Total shipments of beer and happoshu rose by 3.5% to 434,770 kl in February but shipments of traditional beer were said to have fallen by 10% to 245,744 kl, the 23rd successive monthly decline.