JAPAN: Suntory to launch alcohol-free beer
The carbonated drink, named Fine Zero, will launch on 29 September.
Like Kirin's runaway hit "Free" beer, Zero is a non-fermented liquor that is made using juice extracted from boiled barley and hops. Suntory said use of malt and an unspecified new technology gives the drink a real beer-like head.
Given Japan's zero blood alcohol tolerance for drivers, Kirin's Free non-alcohol beer flew off the shelves when introduced in April.
Suntory hopes to match Kirin's sales of around 330,000 cases per month. The secret of Kirin's success was to create a beer that has broken the taste barrier that has dogged other non-alcoholic brews.
A 350ml can of Fine Zero will sell for JPY140 (US$1.5), including tax.
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