Suntory plans to sell suds Down Under

JIJI

Suntory Holdings Ltd. plans to start selling beer in Australia in mid-September.

The company will soon start shipping 500-ml cans of Magnum Dry produced at its plant in Kunshan, near Shanghai, to Australia and sell them through a major local liquor shop chain, sources said Tuesday.

The product is different from the beverage sold in Japan with the same name. Magnum Dry for the Japanese market is “happoshu” low-malt quasi-beer.

In the first year, Suntory plans to sell 100,000 cases of Magnum Dry in Australia and aims to boost annual sales to 300,000 cases within several years, the sources said. In Australia, beer demand is high in the December-February summer period.

By expanding into Australia, Suntory hopes to boost the operating rate of the Kunshan plant in winter, the sources said, noting beer sales in China fall in winter as people there turn to “baijiu” and other more potent drinks in the cold season.

In New Zealand, Suntory is already selling The Premium Malt exported from Japan.