Japan. Asahi Breweries Ltd. plans to expand its exports of beer

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Asahi Breweries Ltd. plans to expand its exports of beer, Shinichi Hirano, president of the Japanese company, said in a recent interview.

Hirano said Asahi Breweries plans to strengthen sales of its beer at international airports and luxury hotels overseas. It “aims to take active promotion measures at places where high-end premium beer sells well,” he said.

The subsidiary of Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. set up a new department in charge of international business in January that took over overseas sales operations involving Super Dry beer and Nikka Whisky from the parent company.

Asahi Breweries sold some 8.18 million cases of Super Dry overseas last year. One case contains the equivalent of 20 633-milliliter bottles.

Super Dry “has become increasingly known among foreign visitors to Japan,” Hirano said.

If overseas Super Dry sales reach 20 million cases a year, the factory operating rate in Japan will improve, he said.

Asahi Breweries plans to examine whether its products can be made at four European brewers that the parent company plans to acquire later this year. The investigation is expected to take several years. Wholly owned subsidiaries are best-suited places for overseas production of Asahi Breweries’ beer, Hirano said.

Referring to domestic operations, Hirano said Asahi Breweries aims to gain the top position in all alcoholic beverage categories.

The company plans to provide more restaurants with beverage dispensers that keep beer and highballs below zero degrees Celsius in order to beef up sales.