Japan: Brewers to extend shelf life of beer

Sapporo Breweries, the oldest beer brand in Japan founded in 1876 and top selling Asian beer brand in the U.S., has announced to extend shelf life of its beer and beer-like products from 9 to 12 months. The move is supposedly intended to help reduce food waste. Nonalcoholic beer products had already been set at 12 months earlier.

The new best-before period which was announced by Sapporo on Tuesday will be applied in stages to products to be made in and after March 2020, according to a report in The Japan News.

Other major brewers in Japan like Asahi, Kirin and Suntory will most likely follow soon.

Sapporo is the No 4 brewer in Japan. Market leader was Asahi Breweries in 2017 with 39.1%, followed by Kirin Brewery Co. (31.8%), Suntory Beer (16%), Sapporo Breweries (12.1%) and Orion Breweries (0.9%). Total beer production in Japan amounted to 51.5 million hl in 2017.

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