Suntory Spirits Limited recorded sales exceeding the previous year in 2019. Positive trends were seen in whiskies such as Kakubin, Jim Beam, Torys〈Classic〉, and Maker’s Mark as well as in RTDs’ including -196℃ Strong Zero, Horoyoi, Kodawari Sakaba no Lemon Sour, and canned highball products.
We intend to carry on from there in 2020, aiming to enlarge the business with further brand development and enhancement, with a focus on major brands. As well, in order to gratify our customers with even more delicious liquors, we shall tackle activities focusing on quality from product development through consumption, while promoting active marketing such as launching products to offer new value.
●Review of 2019
The whisky market has continued to expand, thanks to the increased popularity of highballs. In this context, with a focus on major brands such as Kakubin, Jim Beam, Torys〈Classic〉, and Maker’s Mark, we have promoted highballs. Canned highballs for off-premise use such as Kaku Highball can, Torys Highball can, and Jim Beam Highball can were also well received, selling 18.52 million cases*1 with a large increase (up 11% year-on-year).
Sales volume by brand included Kakubin brand total*2 up 4% year-on-year, Jim Beam brand total*2 up 18% year-on-year, Torys brand total*2 up 12% year-on-year, and Maker’s Mark rising sharply by up 27% year-on-year. In particular, the Jim Beam brand total*2 marked the first imported whisky brand to sell 1.06 million cases*3 in Japan. As well, for premium whiskys like Yamazaki and Hakushu, we have promoted their value based at the distilleries.
Through these activities, the sales of our whisky business have increased by up 5% year-on-year.
●Strategy for 2020
As a leading whisky company, with a focus on strategic brands such as Kakubin, Jim Beam, Torys〈Classic〉, and Maker’s Mark, we shall make efforts continuously to promote highballs produced with attention to quality at the point of consumption. In addition, sales of SUNTORY WORLD WHISKY Ao will continue from last year on, aiming to create new demand.
While reinforcing activities to improve the quality at the point of consumption in restaurants and bars through “Choten Highball” activity proposing the provision of high-quality highballs there, we will also carry out overall marketing for the Kakubin brand, including Kaku Highball can for off-premise use, to further improve brand value. For the Kakubin brand total*2, we will aim for 5.74 million cases*3 (up 2% year-on-year).
Through the popular television commercials featuring Rola as well as proposal activities for ways of drinking “Jim Beam Highballs,” we shall actively promote the brand’s unique flavor and worldview out there, further increasing its fans. For the Jim Beam brand total*2, we will aim for 1.13 million cases*3 (up 7% year-on-year).
We shall actively promote its image as a drink for the everyday table, with new TV commercials starring Yuriko Yoshitaka and so on. We also plan to further increase fans through linking Torys〈Classic〉 to Torys Highball can. For the Torys brand total*2, we will aim for 2.94 million cases*3 (up 6% year-on-year).
Contents and packaging will be renewed for all three brands, Kakubin, Jim Beam, and Torys. We plan to use TV commercials to enliven the canned highball market even further, aiming for up 7% year-on-year sales.
Active marketing is scheduled to draw consumer attention to the high-quality value of Maker’s Mark.
As well as more commercials featuring Shun Oguri, we plan to propose “Maker’s Craft Highballs” served in copper tumblers to restaurants and bars, expanding good contact points. We aim to establish its unique position as a premium craft whisky and sell 130,000 cases*4 (up 18% year-on-year).
▼SUNTORY WORLD WHISKY Ao
In 2020, we plan to develop communication which will expand product recognition, enhancing brand exposure in storefronts and at restaurants and bars, in order to draw attention to the new value of “a blend of the world’s five great whiskys,” aiming to sell 55,000 cases*3 (up 68% year-on-year).
We shall make efforts to raise awareness of the brand, using its first TV commercials (“This Scotch is a smoky one”) featuring Yo Oizumi, as well as maximizing the promotion of “Scotch Smoky” in storefronts to raise brand recognition. We will aim to sell 156,000 cases*3 (up 22% year-on-year).
●Review of 2019
The RTD market has expanded for 11 straight years, due to increased demand for liquor paired with food, etc. In this context, our sales volume has grown large to 92.93 million cases*1 (up 17% year-on-year), marking the highest sales ever for 15 straight years.
We have actively promoted the appeal of -196℃ Strong Zero as liquor paired with food and the sales went well at 41.00 million cases (up 7% year-on-year). The flavor and communication activities of “Horoyoi” were well received, with sales growing to 17.40 million cases (up 8% year-on-year). Our new Kodawari sakaba no Lemon Sour as well-received for offering the taste of lemon sours as drunk in restaurants and bars, selling 9.78 million cases (up 366% of plan) in its first year, far exceeding the sales plan.
●Strategy for 2020
The RTD market is expected to grow continuously. We plan to vitalize the market further by creating further demands for liquor paired with food in the form of -196℃ Strong Zero and canned highballs, reinforcing our approach to the lemon sour market with Kodawari Sakaba no Lemon Sour, and promoting the value of original brands like Horoyoi. For our RTD total, we will aim for 103.68 million cases (up 12% year-on-year).
▼-196℃ Strong Zero
As well as continuing to push the products as “Canned Chu-Hi that goes with meals” for 〈Double Lemon〉 and 〈Dry〉, we plan to make the most of 〈Double Lemon〉s’ appeal as “a whole lemon,” the brand’s root value, while renewing 〈Dry〉 drastically to make the most of its “crisp tasty flavor,” aiming to sell a brand total of 43.90 million cases (up 7% year-on-year).
Newly launched in 2019 and temporarily taken off the shelves, 〈Hapikle Sour〉 will return in February and 〈Mixed Fruits〉 in March. As well, we plan to introduce appealingly flavored seasonal products, aiming for a brand total of 17.70 million cases (up 2% year-on-year).
▼Kodawari Sakaba no Lemon Sour
We plan to renew last year’s popular RTD canned Kodawari Sakaba no Lemon Sour, adding a Kodawari Sakaba no Lemon Sour ‘KIRITTO OTOKOMAE’ flavor as well. Linking continuous communication activities featuring Tomio Umezawa with Kodawari Sakaba no Lemon Sour no Moto liqueur, we will aim for 14.30 million cases.
Backed by the growing “lemon RTD market,” we plan to “enhance existing solid products” through renewal focused on lemon-based products, gaining new non-alcoholic RTD users to sell 3.04 million cases (up 1% year-on-year).
●Review of 2019
Sales of Kodawari Sakaba no Lemon Sour no Moto liqueur, a popular product since its launch in 2018, continued to thrive. As well, the Japanese craft vodka HAKU, launched in April, and Japanese craft liqueur Kanade, launched in June, were widely sold mainly in bars, contributing to the permeation of Japanese craft cocktail culture along with the Japanese craft gin ROKU. In addition, the authentic shochu OSUMI Sweet Potato, launched for the first time in 13 years, was also popular thanks to its refreshing aroma and aftertaste.
●Strategy for 2020
For white spirits and liqueurs, while working to expand contact with Kodawari Sakaba no Lemon Sour no Moto liqueur in restaurants and bars as well as off-premises, we intend to continue proposing new values by making the most of our wide portfolio, encompassing Japanese craft products, BEEFEATER gin, and Jägermeister liqueur as well. For shochu, we will launch OSUMI Barley in February, looking to energize the shochu market.
With the Launch of 〈Sakura〉, a new line of the Japanese craft liqueur Kanade, in January, along with the Japanese craft gin ROKU and Japanese craft vodka HAKU, we plan to expand their sales mainly in bars and duty-free shops, continuing to push Japanese craft cocktails. As well, we also intend to create tasting experiences for visitors to Japan.
▼Kodawari Sakaba no Lemon Sour no Moto liqueur
We plan to renew the packaging sequentially from late January on, selling seasonal products with tumblers to be provided in restaurants and bars. Linking communication activities featuring continuously Tomio Umezawa with the RTD canned Kodawari Sakaba no Lemon Sour, we will aim for 700,000 cases (up 10% year-on-year).
*1 1 case = 6 liters
*2 Total of bottles, cans, and casks. Cans and casks are converted with the standard amount of alcohol in a bottle as the standard unit.
*3 1 case = 8.4 liters
*4 1 case = 9 liters