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New genre beer shipment volume in Japan 2009-2018

In 2018, the shipment volume of 'new genre beer' in Japan amounted to around 150 million cases, up from about 139 million cases in 2009.
New genre beer, also referred to as daisan beer (third beer), is a beer-like alcoholic beverage produced without malt. To avoid an increasingly standardized liquor taxation system for beverages containing malt, manufacturers substituted the ingredient with peas, wheat, or other grains and pulses in the production process.

The malt content makes the difference

Beer-like beverages in Japan encompasses new genre beers, happoshu as well as beverages classified as regular ‘beers’. Happoshu refers to low-malt beverages with a malt content below 67 percent and was introduced as a cheaper alternative to regular beer.
However, following the increase of liquor taxes on happoshus and the introduction of new genre beer, the shipment volume of low-malt beer declined steadily in recent years. While beverages classified as ‘beer’ accounted for the highest shipment volume of the beer-like beverage market, new genre beers are growing in popularity.

Non-alcoholic beer in Japan

Beer has been integrated into the Japanese drinking tradition as a popular alcoholic beverage, contributing to the success of the four major breweries Asahi, Kirin, Sapporo, and Suntory. To cater to consumers who do not drink liquor, market leaders expanded their product lines to include non-alcoholic beer.
However, only a minority of Japanese preferred non-alcoholic beers over the regular variant, with the taste being the main reason for rejecting the alcohol-free brewed beverage.

Shipment volume* of new genre (daisan) beer in Japan from 2009 to 2018

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Release date

February 2020



Survey time period

2009 to 2018

Supplementary notes

*Taxable shipment volume.

Figures are estimates based on shipments of five major beverage manufacturers.

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Statistics on "Beer industry in Japan"

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