Japan: Kirin Holdings to adapt to changing lifestyles in Japan
The following is excerpted from an interview with Kirin Holdings Co. President Yoshinori Isozaki, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported on April 30.
The novel coronavirus crisis has drastically changed the way we live. Pandemic lifestyles may even start to feel normal if things continue as they are for another year.
Alcoholic drinks for home consumption have been selling well. Kirin Brewery Co.s zero-carb Ichiban Shibori beer is selling much better than anticipated.
Going forward, our focus will be quality rather than quantity. We intend to accelerate the sales of our craft beer products and our Home Tap server for household use.
By looking at customer trends, we need to change our sales approach.
The thinking used to be that if we could get contracts with dining establishments, we would secure stable profits. But unlike overseas, sales to eateries are not profitable in Japan because there are many expenses involved, such as the provision of equipment. This was fine when the market was growing, but now we are in an era when everything is shrinking.
Nowadays, there are many products for household use and consumers have more choices. The company decided to enhance its brand power and focus on the home market even though the path forward has been tough. Weve been relatively unscathed by the pandemic because of the strategy.
The alcohol drinks business will not disappear, but as the population ages, fewer people will drink.
Young people are interested in a wide range of things besides drinking. The amount of alcohol they drink will decrease. As more consumers are trying to drink alcohol moderately, the company has been focusing on healthier products.
Its turned out to be a shrewd move, as the pandemic has raised peoples awareness of health issues.
Thinking just about my tenure as president, I dont think there will be a need to venture into new fields. However, the company wont have the support of many customers unless we grow.
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