01 August 2018 | News
AB InBev will cancel its licensing partnership with Kirin Brewery, which has produced and sold Budweiser in Japan since 1993.
Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest beer maker, is making a big push into the Japanese market, taking Budweiser sales into its own hands from 2019.
AB InBev will cancel its licensing partnership with Kirin Brewery, which has produced and sold Budweiser in Japan since 1993. Under the new arrangement, AB InBev's Japanese unit will import and sell the brand.
The shift comes at a time when Japan's beer market continues to shrink. But AB InBev has its eyes set on a liquor tax amendment that will help bring down the price of regular beer.
Budweiser is one of the world's top-selling beers, along with the Snow brand of China Resources Beer (Holdings). It enjoys a global market share of about 2.5%. But sales in Japan have declined to less than 20% of peak levels reached in the 1990s, at around 8,000 kiloliters a year, according to the Kirin Holdings unit.