OSAKA — Suntory Ltd. will price its new “happoshu,” which goes on sale June 25, at 130 yen per 350 ml can — 5 yen lower than that of all other happoshu brands marketed by three other major brewers.
The announcement is a turnaround from May 31, when Suntory said it would price its Super Magnum Dry low-malt, beer-like beverage at 135 yen.
Suntory needs to slash prices to beat its rivals before the steamy summer season, which is the peak time for happoshu consumption, company officials said.
Suntory’s latest move is set to intensify the price war among happoshu brewers that has grown fiercer in recent months, industry officials said.
Suntory will also release another brand on a limited basis for 128 yen on June 18 that will be part of a coadvertising campaign with Uniqlo, the casual clothing chain of Fast Retailing Co. For its part, Fast Retailing is hoping the coadvertising campaign will turn around its sagging sales.
But the price of Super Magnum Dry will remain at a record low for a happoshu label that is sold year round.
Suntory has also said it will cut the price of another of its happoshu brands, Jun-nama, which is already on store shelves, by 10 yen to 135 yen, starting June 21.
In February, Kirin Brewery Co. said it would lower the price of its Goku-nama happoshu by 10 yen to 135 yen, prompting other happoshu breweries to follow suit.
In May, Asahi Breweries Ltd. said it would reduce the price of its Asahi Hon-nama by 10 yen to 135 yen, starting June 21.
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