The Japanese beverage industry can be divided into two distinct categories; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages typically include beer, wine or spirits, such as whiskey, sake or shochu. The non-alcoholic beverages industry shows a wider variety, encompassing liquid refreshment beverages (LRB) such as bottled water, carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit beverages, ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee and tea, sports beverages and value-added water.
Large beverage manufacturers such as Asahi Group Holdings, Kirin Holdings Company, Suntory Holdings Limited or Sapporo Holdings Limited dominate the domestic beverage market, providing a variety of soft drinks as well as high and low alcohol content specialties in the country, such as beer and beer-like beverages, RTD mixed alcoholic drinks, wine, shochu, whisky and other spirits.
While Japan is well known for its production of high quality sake, shochu, and whisky, the preferred alcoholic drink of the average Japanese is domestically produced beer. In recent years, the domestic beer production remained steadily above 2.5 billion liters in total, contributing to Asahi's success.