Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
Since its founding in 1907, Kirin Brewery has taken on a variety of challenges to provide new value to its customers based on its “consumer-first approach” and “steady focus on quality.” Moving forward, we will continue to create high-value products that are supported by our consumers, such as KIRIN ICHIBAN, and promote the appeal of the beer category by proposing new value such as craft beer. Through these efforts, we will strive to become a familiar presence to our consumers and create a happy and prosperous future.
June 5, 2023
We aim to achieve medium- to long-term growth by executing three core strategies.
The first is to develop our brands in existing businesses. In anticipation of the upcoming liquor tax revisions, we will carefully select which investments to focus on and work towards establishing a strong brand system.
The second is to strengthen new growth engine initiatives that will accelerate future profit growth. In the craft beer market, which has high potential, we will develop craft beer products and services utilizing all available sales channels.
The third is to reform our profit structure. Our goal is to improve productivity by building an organizational structure and production and logistics systems that can adapt to various changes in the external environment, such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and upcoming liquor tax revisions.
2022 Year in Review
- In 2022, the “With Corona” lifestyle took root and the beer market grew significantly due to the recovery of restaurant consumption and other factors. In this environment, we aimed to maximize corporate value by focusing on two strategies: Build a robust brand portfolio and nurturing new growth engines.
- In the beer category, our KIRIN ICHIBAN and SPRING VALLEY brands led the way, achieving a year-on-year increase for the second year in a row with a ratio of approximately 104% compared to the previous year.
- To respond to the expected increase in beer demand following the October liquor tax revisions, we will renew KIRIN ICHIBAN for the first time in two years to strengthen our brand. Furthermore, we will adopt a comprehensive approach that integrates consumer touchpoints in our craft beer business, nurturing it as a new growth engine.
- We will focus investments in the KIRIN ICHIBAN brand and craft beer to achieve further growth.
- We will create a unique craft beer experience by implementing a comprehensive approach that integrates the four points of (1) Recognition & Understanding, (2) Experiences, (3) Touchpoints, and (4) Quality. As a brand to lead this initiative, we will renew SPRING VALLEY Hojun 496 and focus on nurturing it.
- In the non-alcoholic category, we will promote the consumption of non-alcoholic beverages as a daily drink of choice, rather than just a substitute for beer. To achieve this, we will cater to consumer demand by offering a brand portfolio that meets their needs. This includes strengthening sales of Kirin GREENS FREE and KIRIN KARADA FREE, a food with functional claims.
- In the RTD category, we will establish a strong brand system by catering to diverse preferences through Kirin Tokusei and Kirin HonshiboriTM Chuhai, while simultaneously strengthening our core brand, Kirin Hyoketsu.
- With the increasing demand for at-home drinking due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are now seeking added value in RTD products and tend to prefer refreshing and crisp tastes to pair with their meals. In response, we will continue to focus on the Hyoketsu Sugar-Free product line, which has been expanding since last year, to meet the growing needs of our consumers.
Initiatives to create a craft beer category
In 2022, we collaborated with domestic craft breweries to expand the craft beer category and introduce the diverse world of craft beer to consumers. Our first step was to expand the lineup of our membership-based beer service, Home Tap, which offers customers the opportunity to choose from a variety of craft beers. We also sold products from affiliated craft breweries, such as Yona Yona Ale and Aooni IPA from YO-HO BREWING COMPANY and Tokyo White from Far Yeast Brewing Company, all of which were extremely well received. In addition, we launched a quality support program to enhance the quality of craft beer breweries across the country. Drawing on the brewing know-how cultivated by the Kirin Group, we have put a system in place to offer technical support and expertise for quality analysis and improvement, with the aim of raising overall industry standards. By focusing on improving quality, we hope to contribute to the sustained attractiveness and value of beer in society.
Furthermore, in 2022, we organized a taste-testing event at SPRING VALLEY Brewery Tokyo to introduce a “new way to enjoy beer” with the launch of SPRING VALLEY Silk Ale [White]. The craft beer experience was received enthusiastically, with 713 consumers participating over two days and over 60% of them sharing their impressions on social media. Going forward, we will continue to strengthen our focus on the SPRING VALLEY brand in our craft beer efforts, creating experiences that appeal even to those who are not yet fans of beer, and showing them just how delicious beer can be.
Although our brand is performing well, we recognize that there is still untapped potential in raising awareness of the craft beer category. In 2023, we will be implementing a comprehensive approach that integrates consumer touchpoints around four key areas, to enhance the craft beer experience. To showcase the appeal of craft beer, we will focus on creating a value proposition through the first limited edition product of the SPRING VALLEY brand, SPRING VALLEY Summer Craft Ale [Kaoru] . We will also air a new TV commercial that highlights the charm of the craft beer category and host collaborative events with craft breweries, such as the Craft Beer Festival. Additionally, we will leverage all consumer touchpoints, such as restaurants and bars that use Tap Marché and collaboration shops located throughout the country. As we look toward the future of beer, our ultimate goal is to create a craft beer category that will be loved and appreciated for a long time to come.