New type of can with screw cap
A revolutionary new type of aluminum can with a screw cap is set to become the next hit product. Called the bottle can, it was first launched back in May by Kirin Brewery and Sapporo Breweries for their mainstay lager beers. All the top brewers except Asahi Breweries have been suffering loss of market share and falling sales. Desperate to reverse this trend, two major strategies have been adopted. The main tactic was the launch by Suntory and Sapporo Breweries some years ago, followed more recently by Kirin, of happoshu. This is similar to beer but produced from a very low malt content. The name in English for this type of brew keeps changing. It was called sparkling malt beverage but now the name beer taste seems to have become popular. Whatever it is called, it has been the saviour of Kirin and Suntory and to a lesser extent of Sapporo Breweries. The new bottle can has become popular because it can be reclosed, so it is not necessary to drink the entire contents at once. It is also popular because it is a novelty in a land where novelty is highly prized. Now Kirin Brewery has launched its hit product happoshu called Tanrei in the new bottle can. 450ml Y175. Sales target 7000,000 cases.

New pink cocktail
Market leader in ready-to-drink western style cocktails, Suntory has now launched a new variety in The Cocktail Bar series. Called Berry Pink, is contains raspberry, strawberry and yogurt flavorings. 200ml glass bottle with screw cap Y120.

Wines to celebrate 2001
Top in whisky, Suntory is also a major wine company (both production in Japan and imports). Suntory is now launching a range of wines to celebrate the arrival of 2001. This includes sparkling wines produced in Japan (white and rose) in cute 360ml champagne bottles for Y590.

Single portion instant coffee premix
The trading house, Kataoka Bussan has a new variety in the Astoria Stick Coffee hit product series of single portion, instant coffee premixes in the stick shape sachets so popular in Japan. The new variety, Blue Mountain Blend, contains instant coffee made with Blue Mountain coffee beans, powdered milk and sugar. This is a premium product. Four of these 10.3g sachets retail at Y280.

Cinnamon tea
Major tea company, Mitsui Norin has launched a new variety in the Mitsui Flavory Tea Bags series - cinnamon tea. This is leaf black tea flavored with cinnamon. There are now six products in the range, including apple tea, lemon tea and grape tea. There are ten tea bags (containing 2.2g) per box, Y200.

Vegetable juice drinks
The Tableland brand from Maruzen Shokuhin Kogyo has now been extended with the launch of vegetable juice and tomato juice in fashionable 350ml PET bottles, retail price Y140, 24 per case. Demand for vegetable juice continues to increase alongside consumer awareness of the health benefits of vegetables. Juice is a convenient way to ensure a daily intake of vegetables.

Milk drink with eggs and honey
Medium size dairy company and part of the Kirin group, Koiwai Nyugyo has developed a new type of milk drink. It is made with fresh milk (milk content 88%) and eggs and sweetened with honey. A new concept in natural milk drinks. Non-fat milk solids 8.0%, milk fat content 3.0%. 200ml brick carton Y105, 24 per case.

Dietary fiber drink
Takara Shuzo already has a series of successful functional drinks. This new drink called Bi Kan Fruit Haku Budo, means beauty, feeling, fruit - white grape. Aimed at older women, it contains Aloe vera and dietary fiber. It is a lightly sparkling drink with the refreshing flavor of white grape juice. 250ml glass bottle Y130, 24 per case.