Shipments of beer and “happoshu,” a low-malt, beerlike beverage, fell 1.2 percent in October from a year earlier, down for the second month in a row, according to data released Wednesday by Japan’s five leading brewers.
The fall apparently reflects the popularity of other beverages, including canned “chuhai,” a carbonized, flavored drink made with “shochu.”
Shipments of beer and happoshu in October totaled 541,173 kiloliters, according to Asahi Breweries Ltd., Kirin Brewery Co., Sapporo Breweries Ltd., Suntory Ltd. and Orion Breweries Ltd.
Shipments of happoshu, which is cheaper than beer due to the lower liquor taxes on low-malt beverages, remained steady, rising 12.6 percent to 213,829 kiloliters, showing double-digit growth for the fourth consecutive month.
Happoshu accounted for 39.5 percent of the total market in October, unchanged from September.
In contrast, beer shipments dropped for the 31st month in a row, falling 8.5 percent to 327,344 kiloliters.
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