Asahi Breweries Ltd. said Monday it has sold 50 million boxes of Asahi Honnama “happoshu,” a low-malt, beerlike beverage, since its launch in February 2001.

The sales mark an industry high for new happoshu products in their first 14 months, according to the company. A box is defined as 12.66 liters, irrespective of bottle or can size.

Asahi Breweries is a latecomer in the happoshu market, debuting with Asahi Honnama, and said it succeeded via a strategy of discount campaigns.

Sales of Asahi Honnama rose 42 percent in February from a year earlier to 4.6 million boxes, and doubled in March to 5.6 million boxes, the company said.

Asahi hopes sales from January to December will reach 51 million boxes.

“We wish to outdo Kirin Brewery Co. in not only beer but also happoshu. We aim to become the top in the industry,” a company spokesman said.

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