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October ’09 sees Japanese Beer shipments at all time low

Shipments of beer and beer-like alcoholic beverages in Japan fell 4.3 percent to 37.98 million cases in October, setting a record low for the month, industry reports said Thursday.

The number was the lowest for any October since 1992, when breweries began compiling comparable data. (One case contains 20 x 633-ml bottles)

Shipments of regular beer fell 6.6 percent to 18.56 million cases, less than 50 percent of the total, as anemic personal consumption and waning demand from younger consumers limited sales.

Shipments of “happoshu,” a low-malt quasibeer, dived 23.2 percent to 7.48 million cases, while those of “third-category” beverages similar to beer surged 18.6 percent to 11.93 million cases, or more than 30 percent of the total, backed by growing demand for the cheaper merchandise.

Among third-category drinks that proved popular in the reporting month were Kirin Brewery Co.’s Nodogoshi Nama, Asahi Breweries Ltd.’s Clear Asahi and Suntory Holdings Ltd.’s Kinmugi.

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Sunday, December 17, 5:39 pm

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