JAPAN – The Suntory Group, a global leader in both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages industry, has announced plans to create new drinking demand and revitalize the overall beer market in an effort to tame dwindling consumption of alcoholic beverages in Japan.

This was revealed in the company’s business strategy for 2021 that was shared with our Food Business Africa editorial team.

In the strategic plan for 2021, Suntory noted that the overall beer market in Japan and the beer market excluding non-alcoholic beer-taste beverages are both expected to shrink by about 3% from the previous year.

The shrink is a worrying trend as the overall beer market in Japan is reported d to have shrunk by around 9% in 2020.

During the 2020 period, Suntory notes that its beer sales volume declined by 9% year on year.

Excluding non-alcoholic beer-taste beverages, the company’s sales beer sales plummet to 11% compared to the same period in 2019. ‘

The alarming figures have certainly caught the attention of Suntory Group, forcing it to create a strategy to tame the dwindling demand for its core beverages- beer.

“We will work to create new drinking demand and revitalize the overall beer market by increasing the value of our key brands The Premium Malt’s, Kin-Mugi and All-Free,” Suntory said in a statement.

“Our target for the year is a total of 65.2 million cases (up 1% year on year), and 57.1 million cases excluding non-alcoholic beer-taste beverages (up 1% year on year),” added Suntory.

Suntory plans to revitalize its brands through a number of strategies including “rolling out promotions that capture changes in our customer”.

The beverage company also “seeks to become embedded more deeply in their lives by positioning The Premium Malt’s as a little bit of luxury in everyday life.”

The company also plans to renew packaging of some of its brands and strengthen communications throughout the year in order to enhance the appeal of the beer products to consumers.

Founded 1899 in Osaka, Japan, Suntory Group offers a uniquely diverse portfolio of products from premium spirits, beer and wine to brewed teas, bottled water, carbonated soft drinks, ready-to-drink coffee and energy drinks, along with health and wellness products.

As a global beverage company, Suntory has operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It  reported an annual revenue of US$21.0 billion in 2019.

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