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Asahi Super set to clash with San Miguel

Asia Brewery has inked a deal with Japan’s Asahi Group to be the exclusive distributor of Asahi Super Dry beer, set to go head-to-head with San Miguel Brewery in the premium beer segment.

While not citing figures, Hubert Tan, Asia vice president of marketing, admitted that San Miguel Brewery currently dominates the market.

“They [San Miguel Brewery] have three brands, Cervesa Negra, Super Dry and All-Malt, and they have the same volume, they are the leader,” he said.

Tan told reporters Friday that they want to improve its presence in the largely undeveloped premium beer segment through the partnership, which he noted as ABI’s first with a foreign company.

“The premium beer market in the Philippines is quite small, just 0.1 percent of the total beer market (around 200 million cases),” Tan explained. This compares to up to 7% in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

ABI will be the first exclusive distributor of Asahi Super Dry in the country, which has been imported in the country since the 1990s.

It currently has five alcohol brands, namely Beer na Beer, Colt 45, Tanduay Ice, Coors Light and Manila Beer, accounting for 9% percent of the local beer market.

“This is perhaps a first step to something bigger,” Tan said, adding that ABI is hoping that its products like can be distributed by Asahi Group in Japan.

ABI is looking forward to expand its partnership with Asahi Group. Tan said that they are hoping to bring the recently launched Coco Fresh brand in the country as well as distribute Tanduay Ice through Asahi Group’s network in Japan.

Asahi Group has an average 36% market share across all beer segments in Japan.  Kirin, its closest rival, owns a 49% stake in San Miguel Brewery.

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