Kirin has seen its new Zeroichi non-alcoholic beer surpass expectations

Kirin has seen its new Zeroichi non-alcoholic beer surpass expectations

Strong sales for non-alcoholic beer in Japan have prompted brewers to up production, according to a local report.

New 0%-abv Kirin Breweries beer Zeroichi sold out its initial annual target in just two months, leading the Japanese company to boost monthly production by three-fold, the Nikkei Asian Review reported yesterday. Meanwhile, Suntory is increasing its June and July production of All Free, another non-alcoholic brand, by 10% compared to a year ago.

The Nikkei Asian Review quoted Kirin president, Takayuki Fuse, as saying the output boost was down to changing lifestyles. "There are more people who finish work for the day and then still have to do child-rearing and household chores, and these people want something refreshing that does not get them drunk," Fuse said.

Suntory estimates that non-alcoholic beer sales in Japan will grow 2% this year to 18m cases, according to the newspaper.

The upward trend is in contrast to declining sales for regular beer in Japan. Domestic volumes fell by 3% last year as shipments from all five major brewers declined.