Asahi Regains Top Spot In Annual Beer Shipments

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Asahi Breweries Ltd. gained the biggest domestic market share for the first time in two years in 2010, according to data five major brewers released Monday.
Shipments of beer and beerlike beverages by the five breweries fell 2.8% on the year to 459.17 million cases, a record low for the sixth straight year since comparable data began being compiled in 1992.
While extremely hot summer weather contributed to a sales increase, consumer preferences diversified, with low-alcohol beverages other than beer attracting customers.
Shipments of beer slid 3.6% to 230.47 million cases, while those of low-malt beer declined 17.7% to 78.07 million cases.
Shipments of low-price “third beer” increased 8.7% to 150.62 million cases, accounting for more than 30% of the overall market share last year.
Of the market for beer and beerlike beverages, beer’s share managed to stay above 50% due to a summer hot spell. Beer’s market share never fell below 50%.