Japanese Beer Market Is the World's Fourth Largest Market After

2147 Words Aug 23rd, 2010 9 Pages
Japanese beer market is the world 's fourth largest market after the US, Germany and China. Beer is considered to be a king in Japan accounting for over 70 % of all alcohol sold; while, contrary to common western belief, traditional sake is only second most consumed alcoholic drink in Japan with 14% market share. Despite being one of the largest markets in the world, development of the market has been rather unpredictable. Until 2001, the beer market has been shrinking mainly due to changing tastes, healthier lifestyles and declining population of beer drinkers. On the positive side is the fact that for the first time in the last five years there has been 1.1% increase in consumption.
For many years, Japanese beer market has been
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Described above market situation refers back 1990s. Since then, beer market has seen even further transformation. Here is a more up-to-date picture of the market, featuring current positions of two main beer producers.
Overall future of the beer looks tough as four main brewers are experiencing overall decline in business performance. There has been a drop in sales and yet new shift in customers´ preferences. Effective competing approaches are no longer a matter of differentiation of regular beer but increasing a variety of low-alcohol products.
Recently new low- malt beer - Happoshu become very popular. In 2003 its market share already accounted for 30% of the beer market. Its popular appeal is based on heavy marketing and the lower price (about ½ the price of standard alcoholic beer) . A new, low alcohol beverage looks, smells and tastes almost like beer but legally it is not beer due to its composition of ingredients. It has already become one of the most consumed drinks in Japan. Asahi was very fast to respond to the new trend by introducing Asahi´s happoshu to the market earlier than its main competitor Kirin. Reasonably tasting and cheaper alternative to standard beer indicated that Japanese beer drinkers traded taste for price, meaning that as long as volume of happoshu increases, the share of a standard beer will continue to fall.