Japan: Asahi Breweries will release the Prime Time brand
Asahi Breweries Ltd. said on May 08 it will release a new beer product called Prime Time on June 28 in line with its strategy of tapping Japan's growing market for premium beer.
The new canned beer will come in two sizes -- 350 ml and 500 ml, with the 350-ml version expected to retail at some 240 yen.
Although overall beer sales in Japan have been on the decline in recent years due to the strong popularity of more affordable non-malt, beer-like alcoholic drinks, commonly known as "third-category beer," the market for high-grade beer has been steadfastly growing.
The market has expanded because the number of people who opt to drink higher-than-average grade beer "to reward themselves" on occasions such as days when their workload is particularly heavy is increasing, an Asahi official said.
Asahi will try to sell the equivalent of one million cases of 20 633-ml bottles of Prime Time beer by the end of this year in a bid to catch up with Sapporo Breweries Ltd., the front-runner brewer in the premium beer market.