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Marketing Briefs

Asahi, Miller Team to Bring Japanese Beer Here

April 09, 1998|Denise Gellene

Tokyo-based Asahi Breweries Ltd. said it formed a venture with Miller Brewing Co. to import Asahi Super Dry, the best-selling beer in Japan, into the United States. The company is backing the introduction of Asahi Super Dry with a $5-million advertising campaign concentrated in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Hawaii. The campaign, consisting of billboards on the mainland and radio and TV ads in Hawaii, targets primarily Asians between ages 25 and 40. Asahi Super Dry will be imported into the U.S. from Canada, where it will be made at a Molson brewery in Vancouver. Asahi is currently the third-ranked Japanese beer in the U.S. In an interview, Miura Takao, president of Asahi USA, predicted the company will rank first among Japanese importers by 2000. Its competitors aren't sitting still, though. Kirin Brewery of America, the leading Japanese import, is running a promotion aimed at import and specialty beer drinkers. Sales of Japanese beers in the U.S. are minuscule, accounting for 2% of all imported beer. According to the trade publication Beer Marketer's Insights, imports accounted for 7% of U.S. beer sales in 1997.

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