In the beer business, we further reinforce the development of mainstay brands with ASAHI SUPER DRY and Clear Asahi as its core brands. In other alcoholic beverages business, Asahi Breweries aims to develop and strengthen brands in each category and expand its presence.
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We will concentrate to continue cultivating our main ASAHI SUPER DRY brand. Besides continuously engaging to imporve its freshness at shops and improving the quality of draft beer in casks at restaurant and bars, we will implement various sales promotions schemes to stimulate consumption at home through commercials and by communicating ASAHI SUPER DRY great taste and consumption value from the sales floor. Also, We will unfold across Japan the contribution to society that we have been implementing in some regions, in terms of preservation of the environment and regional contribution, through the sales of ASAHI SUPER DRY.We plan to offer new ASAHI SUPER DRY consumption value by promoting contributions to society together with our customers and through our products.
We will boost the happoshu market by offering Asahi Hon Nama and the further development of carbohydrate-free Style Free brand. Style Free newly offers a sharp flavors that is sought after in the happoshu market thanks to the appeals many customers for its "Great taste carbohydrate-free" original value. (According to Asahi nutrition labeling standards, "carbohydrate free" refers to beverages with less that 0.5g (approx. 100ml) carbohydrate.)
According to the Alcohol Tax Law, happoshu are sparkling alcoholic beverages that are partly produced with malt. The percentage of malt that must be used in its production is striclty regulated. Happoshu must have less that 67% malt content in relation to other raw materials, excluding water. Alcohol tax varies according to the malt percentage that has been used for its production.
We will continue the further development of Clear Asahi, which has grown into a brand representative of this segment. In addition, and as customer needs for new genre beverages gather, we will continue stimulating the new genre market by offering Asahi Off, a product that contains less carbohydrate and less purines, and Asahi Mugi Shibori, a rich deep flavores and satsifying beverage, which features a 1.5 twice more barley content (Asahi's barley, malt ratio).
In the Alcohol Tax Law, within "Other Sparkling Alcoholic Beverages," only the following alcoholic beverages that have been produced with hops or bitter ingredientes are the object of a special tax rate:
1) Beverages that have been fermented using sugar, hops, water or soya (2 degrees extract or more)
2) Sparkling alcoholic beverages that contain wheat sprits (extract 2 degrees extract or more)
Japanese shochu is made of distilled barley, potatoes, and Soba . As well as promoting sales of Kanoka, our top brand in Ko- and Otsu- type shochu blends, we strengthen our quality control structure of potato shochu, and strive to restore the brand.
As well as reinforcing existing brands, we will strive to develop Slat, a new product that features among the lowest calory level class beverages in the industry, as a brand to meet the needs of customers. Through the development of original products such as Asahi Cocktail Partner, which is an easy to drink canned cocktail, we will offer the joy of choice that customers in the low-alcoholic beverages desire.
In domestic wine, we are strengthening Sainte Neige Wine brand, our highly popular antioxidant^free organic wine. For imported wine, we will carry on mainly offering a diverse product lineup centered on brands that are globally established.
In spirits and liqueurs, we have an assortment of world famous brands and strive to respond to the needs of our customers.
Japanese whisky brand NIKKA posseses two distilleries in Hokkaido, one in Yoichi and another one in Miyagi Gorge in Miyagi Prefecture where it matures its whisky. This year again we will stress the reinforcement of our Black Nikka Clear, a leading domestic whisky brand. Also, we will strive to revitalize demand by strengthening the release of information from Yoichi and Single Malt Whisky brands, whichare highly rated outside Japan.