According to The Asahi Shimbun, Kirin Holdings Co. plans to export its premium “craft” beers around Asia, starting with Taiwan in mid-May, and have regional demand account for 10 percent of overall sales of the series this fiscal year.
The beverage giant, citing the products’ high reputation among foreign visitors to Japan, intends to further tap into the overseas market with three products that are part of Grand Kirin series launched in 2012.
One of the beers, Japan Pale Lager (JPL), which went on sale in Japan in March this year, boasts a gorgeous flavor through the use of domestically produced malt and hops, Kirin said.
The JPL’s bottle is covered with cherry blossom designs to give it a Japanese appearance.
A 330-milliliter bottle of JPL will be priced at about 320 yen (US$2.90) in Taiwan, twice the cost of Kirin’s mainstay Ichiban Shibori draft beer that is already available on the island.
Despite the higher price, Kirin expects to expand its market around Asia, where rich people, younger customers and others have shifted to alcoholic beverages that boast distinctive tastes and consist of well-selected ingredients.
Kirin plans to start exporting the beers to South Korea and China by around summer. Southeast Asian countries, such as Singapore and Vietnam, could also be export destinations.
The brewer plans to use convenience stores in those countries as the main marketing channel and eventually attract bars and Japanese-style restaurants as clients.
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