E-Malt. E-Malt.com News article: Japan: Suntory to expand its business despite decline in domestic food market

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E-Malt.com News article: Japan: Suntory to expand its business despite decline in domestic food market
Brewery news

In 2007, Suntory Limited Beverage and Food Company will continue expanding business aimed at sustainable growth and greater profitability as cited in our medium-term management vision, according to company’s news release, January 23.

Despite an anticipated decline in the scale of the domestic food market in general from a lower birthrate, a greater proportion of seniors, and other factors, Suntory is firmly promoting food business at home and abroad. In particular, soft drinks and health foods in China and Southeast Asia are targeted for business growth, for which we are committed to increasing sales significantly.

In Japan, we are working to strengthen brand recognition of mega-brand products, such as IEMON, Oolong Tea and BOSS, as we develop more diversified business encompassing premium foods designed with health in mind (such as Kuro Oolong Tea) as well as chilled food and other offerings in new product categories.

Suntory Limited has firmly promoted the product development and marketing of premium, high-value-added domestic and international offerings since the establishment of the Alcoholic Beverages Company in 2005. In response, consumers have supported The PREMIUM MALT'S, HIBIKI, YAMAZAKI, and our other exceptional drinks, and our brand recognition has grown tremendously.

2007 will see Suntory leveraging core competencies in the alcoholic beverage business as a whole, with greater marketing of beer, whisky, shochu, low-alcohol beverages, wine, and other premium drinks, as we work to bring customers an appealing, high-quality selection.

Review of 2006

The PREMIUM MALT'S enjoyed outstanding sales at 5.5 million cases, a 4.4-fold increase over last year's level. This contributed to the total of 53.02 million cases (3% growth year-on-year) in Suntory’s beer business, in contrast to a general decline in this market.

Strategy for 2007

The PREMIUM MALT'S will continue to be highlighted in marketing campaigns to secure a solid market position. Aggressive marketing will also target MALT'S, Jokki Nama (mug draft beer), and other key brands. These efforts are aimed at total sales in Suntory’s beer business of 55 million cases (4% growth year-on-year).

1. Striving for 13 million cases in annual sales for The PREMIUM MALT'S:

The scale of the premium beer market in 2007 is expected to grow to 30 million cases, and Suntory is pursuing sales of 13 million cases (up 140% from last year) for The PREMIUM MALT'S to make this the leading premium beer brand.

2. MALT'S brand strategy:

Since its introduction in 1986, MALT'S has been acclaimed as a rich and satisfying beer, with the taste only an all-malt beer can offer. Measures to make this beer the best it can be will help it attain an even higher position in the regular beer market.
3. Jokki Nama strategy:

Reinforcing the brand image for this satisfying, enjoyable beverage will secure a solid market position for Jokki Nama. Consumers can also look forward to enjoying additions to this refreshing and fun line, such as the popular Jokki "Dark Taste," launched last year.

21 February, 2007

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