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Four major Japanese beer makers separately said Thursday that their sales of beer and quasi-beer products in August fell from a year earlier, against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sales in volume terms were down 18 percent at Sapporo Breweries Ltd., 12 percent at Suntory Beer Ltd. and 8 percent at Kirin Brewery Co. Asahi Breweries Ltd. logged a 20 percent sales drop in value terms.

All of the four brewers suffered sales declines for the second straight month. In July, demand for served beer products, including at restaurants and bars, was partly dampened by bad weather.

The August results reflected a slump in beer consumption by families during the Bon summer holiday and at summer festivals, due to the virus.

The results are also attributable to the lack of rush demand that the makers enjoyed a year before, ahead of the October 2019 consumption tax hike.

Still, demand remained solid for low-priced quasi-beer products.

Rush demand for such products is expected this month before a tax hike next month of about 10 yen per 350-milliliter can.

However, September sales are not expected to show a year-on-year jump amid the pandemic and after sales a year before were propelled by the pre-consumption tax hike demand and the effects of the Japan-hosted Rugby World Cup.

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