Asahi Holdings brings Italy-brewed Super Dry to UK market

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Asahi Holdings has relaunched its core beer Asahi Super Dry in the UK as it looks to Europe to make up for weak domestic sales.

The new Asahi Super Dry, brewed in-house for the first time, will be available in the UK on- and off-premise from today, Asahi said. Previously, Super Dry was produced in the UK by third-party brewer Shepherd Neame but the new version comes from the Padua factory Italy, one of the brewing assets Asahi acquired from SABMiller in 2016.

The move is part of a new focus on Europe announced in September that will also see the Padua-brewed Super Dry roll out to European markets including the UK, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and France. According to Asahi, investment in the Padua factory, which also makes Birra Moretti, has allowed it to brew Super Dry to the same Japanese recipe that delivers karakuchi - the Japanese word for a dry crisp taste with a clean finish. "It was incredibly important for us to ensure we brought that same authentic taste to the UK market, therefore significant investment and comprehensive taste testing have taken place in collaboration with our Japanese colleagues," said Asahi UK head Tim Clay.

The UK is Asahi's biggest European market and Super Dry will be available in cans, bottles and on draught, a spokesperson told. It went on sale in Waitrose supermarkets on January 15, 2018.

Super Dry launches in Europe after a tough 2017 for Japanese brewers at home. According to Suntory last week, overall industry beer volumes dropped 2%, with blame going to Japan's ageing population and an increased demand for spirits and cocktails. Suntory said the market is expected to shrink another 2% this year, however its own volumes estimates are for a 1% increase, helped by increased non-alcoholic sales.

Meanwhile, the Nikkei Asian Review reported last week that domestic sales of Asahi Super Dry dropped below 100m cases in 2017 for the first time in 29 years.

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