AUDIO – REALITY DOESN’T BITE –
Sept. 12, 2022 – The popularity of low- and non-alcoholic drinks has risen worldwide, accelerated by the pandemic, which led many people to be more health conscious. The global market value for the segment rose to just under $10 billion in 2021 from $7.8 billion in 2018, according to researcher IWSR.
The effect has been especially pronounced in Japan, where the population is shrinking and younger people drink far less than in previous decades. Just 7.8% of Japanese people in their 20s were regular drinkers in 2019 compared with 20.3% of that age group in 1999, according to government surveys. Facing a steady decline in revenue from alcohol sales, Japan’s tax office in July launched a contest seeking ideas on how to stimulate demand among younger people.
Japan’s major drinks makers are also looking outside the country for growth. The chief of domestic beer leader Asahi Group Holdings told Reuters last month he saw North America as a key market. Suntory Holdings Group is looking to expand its canned cocktail business there.