Business / Corporate

Okinawa-based Orion brewery considering craft beer production

JIJI

Okinawa’s Orion Breweries Ltd. is considering developing craft beer products, the new head of the company said in a recent interview.

“Okinawan people expect Orion to improve its brand image,” said President Keiju Hayase, who took the helm of the Urasoe-based brewery in July. “This is one of our priorities.”

Prior to joining Orion, Hayase served as president of the Japanese unit of Canadian sportswear maker Lululemon Athletica Inc. and as vice president of women’s underwear manufacturer Triumph International (Japan) Ltd.

Hayase, who has shown a willingness to rebuild the fifth-largest Japanese beer maker, noted that he will create an environment in which employees are encouraged to come up with new business ideas and put them into practice.

While the domestic beer market is shrinking, major breweries are developing unique craft beer products.

“We’re concentrating on discussing how Orion’s craft beer should be and how to develop incomparable products,” Hayase stressed.

The new president also said that personnel management system reform will be one of the core initiatives under a business plan the firm will draw up.

“There may be more opportunities in the mainstay beverage and hotel businesses,” Hayase added.

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