Suntory's new nonalcoholic product called Non-aru Kibun hit the market in October. Purchases have been so brisk that Suntory raised its sales target for the October to December period to 1 million cases, up 70 percent from the initial projection. Asahi Breweries Ltd. has revised upward its sales target for its cocktail-like drink by 70 percent to 1.7 million cases for 2011.
Since cars are an indispensable part of everyday life in the United States, there should be solid demand for Kirin Free, particularly among drivers, a Kirin official said.Sapporo Breweries Ltd. is seeing strong sales of its Premium Alcohol Free, touted to be made with higher-quality ingredients.
As a wider variety of products have become available, Ito-Yokado Co., among the nation's major retailers, has set aside more shelf space for nonalcoholic drinks.Sales of such beverages surged 40 percent between March and November compared with the same period last year, according to the company.