Japan's top brewery to promote canned coffee

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TOKYO--Japan's largest beer maker, Kirin Brewery Co., will set aside its long-standing policy of letting subsidiaries market products for themselves when it joins its affiliate soft drink maker Kirin Beverage Corp. later this summer to promote sales of a canned coffee product.

The beer company is taking the move to help its subsidiary increase its presence in the highly competitive canned coffee market in Japan, according to company officials.

The canned coffee product, "Fire", will hit the market on Aug. 24. It will be backed by an advertising campaign by Dentsu. Adswill feature soul star Stevie Wonder and two Japanese singers. No advertising budget was disclosed.

Kirin Brewery will help distribute and push sales of the canned coffee to about 60,000 to 100,000 liquor shops with which Kirin Beverage already has ties, while Kirin Beverage will seek to expand sales to 260,000 shops, according to reports in the financial daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

The companies have no plans for further marketing cooperation but did not rule out the possibility of another jointly marketed product.

Japanese breweries such as Kirin, Asahi, Sapporo and Suntoryhave affiliated beverage companies and typically do not have joint marketing campaigns for a product from their subsidiaries. 'EuroBusiness' magazine breaks pan-Euro TV campaign

Copyright July 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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