The Japanese daily The Japan Times reported this week that the grocer Aeon has codeveloped with brewer Suntory Liquors Ltd. a “third-category” beerlike drink and will begin selling it for ¥100 in July.
According to the article:
Rival retailer Seven & I Holdings Co. said it will introduce at around the same time a similar private brand product with Suntory priced at ¥600 for a pack of six 350-ml cans.
The products, with alcoholic content of 5 percent, took about a year to develop. Aeon’s will be called Topvalu Mugi No Kaori, while Seven & I’s will be named The Brew.
Aeon, the operator of Jusco, Saty and MaxValu supermarkets, plans to roll out the private brand with a price tag about 20 percent lower than similar drinks from major brewers on the back of consumer demand for cheaper products amid the recession.
Meanwhile, Seven & I, which operates Ito-Yokado and other supermarkets, said it will sell its new product at around 400 stores nationwide.
Sales of beerlike beverages in the new category, which often use soybeans, corn and peas as main ingredients, have increased in recent years due to their price appeal.