Unhappy hour for Kirin as its beer sales tumble in Japan

By Ritsuko Shimizu and Chang-Ran Kim

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Kirin is indicative of many once proud Japanese companies, such as Panasonic and Sharp, who have been slow to adapt to ever changing domestic and international ,markets. "You snooze, you lose! "

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Kirin: official sponsor of JFA -2014 Drop in sales might be largely due to dismal performance of Samurai Blue - their ad on Beer Can disappeared faster than the return of the team from Brazil World Cup.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

“It won’t happen in the short term, but they have a chance to come back,” he said.

They said the same thing about the dodo and look how that worked out. This is just a reflection of every corporation on Japan. Their sales and market share have plummeted and as a result, they are cutting staff and salaries. Abenomics has totally missed the boat and this trend will continue. We'll see ever increasing prices and unemployment along with a runaway inflation that will lead to an economic depression. If they think the last ten years was hard, wait another five years until the economy implodes

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Maybe stop reinventing beer like the two tone beers and the turd shaped foam on top of beer etc?

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“Nothing’s going right at Kirin these days,” said Satoshi Fujiwara, consumer analyst at Nomura Securities. “They need to be more consistent in their focus on brands.”

Sums up many companies in Japan. Everybody there is so quick to change direction/jump on new products, that brands really don't get built properly. I blame this on the two big ad agencies, Dentsu and Hakuhodo, that make a lot of money by developing all the packaging, displays, ads, promotions, etc. from new products. They have a vested interest in getting thier clients to jump on every bandwagon. As a result, budgets get fragmented into too many pieces.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Maybe if so called premium beer wasn't 6000 yen per case for Budweiser quality beer people would buy more. Maybe Kirin should pressure the government to reduce the ridiculous beer tax which is half the cost of a single can. A case of beer probably costs 500 yen to produce, it's wheat and water.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The Japanese taste for real beer has gone to haposhu and assorted cocktails in cans because they are cheaper while quenching an alcohol thirst at lower prices. Not rocket science.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

So Asahi has them by the throat.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Japanese Beer Companies have still not woke up and / or refusing to produce low alcohol, (2.5%) or mid strength, (3.5%) beer - Which has already become the most popular choice of beer drinkers around the world. Their quantities would also increase, as two low alcohol beers will be consumed to one full strength. Are they just asleep at the wheel or are they still sticking to old Japanese arrogance of not following western trends I wonder?

If Asahi could a 2.5% alcohol super dry beer as good as their full strength version, myself and many other friends would drink it life!

Wake up people at Asahi, Kirin % Sapporo!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I enjoy drinking Kirin beer whenever I visit Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Do they actually make any beer (as in water+hops+malt+yeast and nothing elset)?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The market seems to have split, where you have people who would rather pay a premium to enjoy a good ale, or people who are happy to gulp the cheap haposhu stuff. Looks like that the middle of the road beers are getting sidelined, I certainly don't buy them either.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I remember why I first washed up on these isles, if I had said happoshu would happen, quazi-"beer" was around the corner I would have been laughed at bigtime! Same if I said that soon Japanese would be flocking to re-cycle shops for lots of forward & here we are.

What happened to beer in this country is a DIRECT correlation to the overall decline of the country, the masses need to get their buzz so they can "tolerate" life in Japan BUT many can no longer afford, BEER! For christs sake if you cant afford a few beers you know its going down hill

The decline continues, I just wander what the next cheap buzz is going to be because people here are having to make do with less & less due to declining incomes.

I don't see any changes in the future either sadly.

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But its overseas operations have also disappointed. As is so often the case with foreign acquisitions by local companies. Makes me nervous about the recent burst of them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I like Kirin Ichiban and Classic, Asahi Super Dry, Yebisu premium (gold can), and Sapporro draft. They are all pretty good when ice cold.

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"The brewer faces a dilemma because it has long marketed the Ichiban Shibori - called Kirin Ichiban overseas - as a premium beer in all but name, touting its first-press brewing process and all-malt formula. That is one reason why it has held back from developing a premium beer, fearing dilution of the Ichiban brand."

So they`d rather go on living a lie than adapt to a changing market. Insane.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The day I stop drinking Kirin Green Label is the day they'll go bust. Hang in there, Kirin! We need each other....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kiren makes beer?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ichibanshibori is very good. IMO, far better than SuperDry. But the quasi-beers all taste like crap. Not sure which is worse, but Asahi's are rancid. After buying a six-pack of the Asahi(blue?), I contacted Asahi, and to their credit, they sent over a rep with a replacement six. I thought it tasted like isopropyl. I ended up pouring the replacement six down the sink. That said, Nodogoshi is as bad. Whoever posted about 2.5-3.5 beers, just mix real beer with seltzer if you want a weak cocktail, like a wine cooler. Leave real beer(Chimay, Duvel, etc) to the adults.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I like Kirin Ichiban and Classic, Asahi Super Dry, Yebisu premium (gold can), and Sapporro draft. They are all pretty good when ice cold.

And so you might - they are all near-identical pilsner lagers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why did they change the recipe?

Years ago Kirin produced pretty decent beer.

Then they changed the recipe without changing the label.

And they lost out.

In any case, these days, there are much better alternatives. Sapporo and Ebisu make very drinkable beers and new craftbeers, like Yonayona and Aooni are excellent and reasonably priced.

As for the happoshu "quasi-beers," I agree with John Galt, they taste like crap, and many of them have a kind of chemical "afterburn" which I'm sure has nothing to do with hops, yeast or malt.

I've been accused on JT of being anti-American (I am not), but my hat goes off to the many excellent beers coming out of US microbreweries.

Kirin has the facilities to make really good and unusual beers.

I wonder why they don't.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How about change Beer business to diet soda business? More and more people drive cars. You can drink soda while driving. Beer will enable drivers to become DUI easily. Soda smells better than stinky beer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am with JohnG on this one! Happoshu & quazi beer is nasty nasty stuff, about 10yrs ago I gave up on it after trying a few & just too many gag reflexes, the stuff is clearly poison of a sort.

I remember riding around on my bike looking for cheese as we were going to make pizza, after hitting a few combini & supers & striking out & buying some crap processed cheese I had less than Y200 in my pocket & was dying for a beer, had to buy some happoshu crap.................. I could barely stomach a few gulps before dumping the rest & swore off the %$#@ ever since.

I mean be honest anyone drinking this crap has to be really forcing the stuff down, I for one wont go that route.

Lately I have been drinking Costco's US made micro brew at home which is pretty decent & a little less than the run of the mill asahi, kirin, Sapporo beers!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sounds like Kirin just needs to slap a sticker on their cans that says "Premium" and they're good to go!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Because of Global Warming? Climate change experts said whatever happen on the earth they blame global warming. Beer sales drop because of Global Cooling I thought.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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