Sapporo Looks to Increase North American Output

on 21/02/11 at 9:21 am

Industry

Sapporo Holdings Ltd. (2501.TO) is mapping out strategies–possibly involving mergers and acquisitions or setting up a new plant–to meet rising demand for premium beer in the U.S. and Canada. In Asia, meanwhile, it is expanding its beer and soft drink business through a recent tie-up with unlisted Pokka Corp.

“We will make a decision on investment after examining the details (such as future demand in North America) a bit more,” said Sapporo’s incoming president Tsutomu Kamijyo in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires. “The time hasn’t come just yet, but we are now at the stage of saying it’s about time,” said Kamijyo, now managing director, and set to become president March 30. He declined to give specifics.

Given Sapporo’s existing network there, and with a steadily growing population, “North America is the market that we have to consider on a priority basis,” he said. “Our counterparts are well aware of our interests in North America and our brand, so it’s easy to talk with business partners.”

Many of the big Japanese food and beverage companies are aggressively trying to extend their global reach out of concerns the domestic customer base is deteriorating, with demand saturated, the population shrinking, and the economy weak.

{Full story via WSJ}

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