Kirin To Expand Sales Of Flagship Beer In S Korea

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Kirin Brewery Co. plans to increase sales of its flagship Ichiban Shibori beer 10-fold in South Korea over the next five years.

The Kirin Holdings Co. (2503) unit has used South Korea’s leading brewer, Hite Jinro Co., as a sales agent since 2004, marketing only a small quantity of 330ml bottles mainly to businesses.

Under a strengthened partnership, Kirin has recently started exporting 350ml and 500ml cans, targeting households. It also aims to introduce kegs at about 300 stores next year, starting with Japanese-style bars, which are becoming popular there.

Kirin sells the Ichiban Shibori beer in about 40 foreign markets. In five years, South Korea is expected to become the third-largest market for the brand, after Taiwan and the U.S.