News Release

  • No.14541(2024/2/16)

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Suntory Holdings Accelerates Global Expansion of -196, Japanese Ready-To-Drink Brand

― Expanding to 21 States in the US in February, with launches in Europe and Southeast Asia to follow this year ―

-196 (For US)

Tokyo, JAPAN (February 16, 2024) – Today, Suntory Holdings is announcing the accelerated global expansion of the Japanese Ready-To-Drink (RTD) brand -196 (minus one-nine-six), a fruit-flavored vodka-based RTD beverage, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year. Starting in February, the brand will be available in the United States in 21 states, and from the spring, it will be available in Great Britain and Germany. -196 will also expand within Southeast Asia by the end of the year. To bring refreshment and joy through -196 and further expand and engage with fans around the world, the company tailors -196 for each market to meet local adult consumer tastes and preferences.

Since its launch in Japan in 2005, -196 has grown to become Suntory’s best-selling canned RTD that continues to be well received by consumers, offering new value and exceptional quality in response to the changes in the markets and consumer preferences. The company started its exportation to other parts of Asia in 2020, and tailored products with different flavors and alcohol-by-volume (ABV) content for launches in Australia in 2021 and in China in 2023, both of which have been well received by local consumers.

“We are pleased to announce the further global expansion of -196, which has been enjoyed by many consumers in Japan, Australia, the US and other countries,” said Suntory RTD Company President Sho Semba. “Our company possesses superior liquid design skills and craftsmanship which were cultivated through more than 100 years of spirits and liqueurs production and the RTD business expertise acquired in Japan, an advanced and matured RTD market. We will leverage Suntory Group's global platform and our strength to expand our products and business around the world.”

In addition to -196, the company has a diverse portfolio in the RTD business including the Japanese RTD brand Horoyoi with low ABV content, and Beam Suntory’s Premium ready-to-serve cocktail brand On The RocksTM and Jim Beam Kentucky Coolers and Highball RTDs.

The global RTD market is on an expansion path, with a CAGR of approximately 20%*1 between 2020-2022. Growth is expected to continue, and by 2030, the company estimates the market to reach US$50 billion*2.

Suntory has set a goal of US$3 billion in RTD globally by 2030. Along with this global expansion of -196, the company will continue to develop and deliver innovative products across the globe as it aims to become a global leading company in the RTD sector.

*1 IWSR 2023 RTD Retail Value base

*2 Retail Value base

About the -196 (minus one-nine-six) :
Launched by Suntory in Japan in 2005, -196 is a distinguished vodka-based ready-to-drink beverage brand made with the company’s proprietary FCI (Freeze Crush Infusion) technology. This unique technology, freezes the whole fruit by using liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees Celsius then crushes and infuses it with vodka, delivering naturally bold and satisfying fruit flavors. Thanks to its ultimate refreshment, the brand is loved by many consumers across different markets.
-196 has been a beloved brand in Japan ever since its launch and continues to grow in popularity. With Suntory’s desire to have high-quality products enjoyed by many more consumers across the world, in 2020, -196 broadened its reach beyond Japan to several Asian markets. In 2021, Suntory further extended the brand by launching in Australia, adapting its taste and packaging design to suit local preferences, and has shown phenomenal success. Today, tailored -196 is enjoyed across diverse markets and continues to perform strongly, reflecting its global advantages and quality craftsmanship.

About Suntory Group
As a global leader in the beverage industry, Suntory Group offers a uniquely diverse portfolio of products, from premium spirits, beer, wine, ready-to-drink alcohol beverages, to brewed teas, bottled water, still and carbonated soft drinks, ready-to-drink coffee and energy drinks, along with health and wellness products. Suntory is home to award-winning Japanese whiskies Yamazaki, Hibiki and Hakushu, as well as iconic American spirits Jim Beam and Maker's Mark. Suntory also fascinates the taste buds with The Premium Malt's beer, and owns the exceptional Japanese wine, Tomi, and the world-famous Château Lagrange. Its brand collection includes Sauza Tequila, non-alcoholic favorites Orangina, Lucozade, Ribena, BOSS coffee, Iyemon green tea, Suntory Tennensui water, TEA+ Oolong Tea, V and BRAND’S, as well as popular health and wellness product Sesamin EX.

Founded as a family-owned business in 1899 in Osaka, Japan, Suntory Group has grown into a global company operating throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania, with an annual revenue (excluding excise taxes) of $20.2 billion in 2022. Its 40,885 employees worldwide draw upon the unique blend of Japanese artisanship and global tastes to explore new product categories and markets.

As a corporation sustained by the gifts of nature and water, Suntory Group will always protect the ecosystems that deliver water. Because its ecosystem is the wellspring, not only of its business and the rich experiences the group creates for people's lives, but also of human life itself. Suntory Group will continue to be a company where everyone is empowered with the freedom and flexibility to innovate. Through all of its corporate pursuits, Suntory seeks to inspire the brilliance of life.

Learn more about Suntory Group, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility and sustainability at, on Facebook, X, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

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  • -196 (For US)
  • -196 Lemon (For US)
  • -196 Grapefruit (For US)
  • -196 Peach (For US)
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