According to The Asahi Shimbun, mass-produced beers with no sugar content - That's one of the options facing beer lovers as two of the nation's four leading breweries opt to tap into the growing market of at-home drinkers and woo health-conscious imbibers.
Suntory Beer Ltd. says its new product will boast 5.5 percent alcohol by volume with a refreshing aftertaste. Kirin Brewery Co. blazed the trail last fall with its version that has 4 percent alcohol.
The marketing ploy was driven in part by a growing fad to drink at home due to restrictions on bar closing times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The breweries are also keen to attract drinkers who pay particular attention to their health.
The addition of sugar is traditionally a vital part of beer brewing, so removing all sugar content from the fermentation process is said to be a difficult feat from a technical perspective.
Suntory said Feb. 24 it will start selling zero-sugar canned beer on April 13 under the Perfect Suntory Beer brand.
Suntory expects 350-milliliter cans sold at convenience stores to be priced at around 198 yen (US$ 1.82), excluding 10 percent consumption tax.
“The company name and the word ‘perfect’ are included (in the product name), so we have no paths to retreat down,” said Tatsuo Wada, head of Suntory’s marketing department, at a news conference held through an online stream on Feb. 24. “We will pitch the product as the standard beer for the new era.”
Suntory is aiming to ship 2.3 million cases of Perfect Suntory Beer by December.
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