Sapporo is the smallest of Japan's big four major brewers, sitting behind Asahi, Kirin and Suntory with just over 12% market share in 2014. Yet it is one of the oldest Japanese beers, first brewed in 1876, and was the first to establish a reputation outside its domestic market, quickly gaining a reputation among Western clubbers and style leaders as a result of an unusual ridged can. It is still the top-selling Asian beer in North America. For most of the first half of the 20th century it was part of the Dai-Nippon Beer conglomerate alongside what is now Asahi Breweries, until being split off in 1949. In its domestic market, Sapporo sought to shake up tradition with the development of new low cost "beeralike" products, which have dominated Japan's beer market since the late 1990s. The company broke new ground in 2004 with the invention of the so-called "third category" or "new genre" almost-beers, made from fermented pea protein. Key beer and related brands include Sapporo, Yebisu and Mugi to Hop. Like its competitors it also markets soft drinks (including Pokka Lemon), imports wine and spirits (including Penfolds, Taittinger and Bacardi) and has interests in other sectors including bars and restaurants in Japan. It acquired Canadian brewer Sleeman in 2006, and added San Francisco's Anchor Steam Beer in 2017. Group revenues for 2016 were approx $4.5bn, of which just over half was generated by Japanese beer and related alcoholic beverages. Masaki Oga is CEO. Adbrands no longer profiles this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.
Who are the competitors of Sapporo? See Beer Sector index for other companies
Capsule checked 16th August 2017
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