Don’t play cute; Japan’s brewers learn how to make women splash more


TOKYO (Reuters) – Faced with a timorous splash marketplace during home, Japanese brewers are shoring adult sales by targeting women with a operation of fizzy, fruity canned cocktails, though a plan hasn’t been though some hiccups along a way.

Traditional condemnation of women celebration in open has faded due to amicable change, with some-more women in a work force, earning income to spend any approach they want.

But attitudes have altered in other ways too, and brewers had to learn aged offered strategies that relied on gender stereotyping weren’t going to convince complicated Japanese women to buy their drinks.

“I don’t need a condescending ‘kawaii’ (cute) in my drinks to tell me that it’s appealing to me,” pronounced Yukari Hakoiwa, a 26-year-old in a wardrobe industry. “I would many rather decider formed on flavors.”

To daub a womanlike market, brewers have focused on canned cocktails and other churned drinks such as “chuhai” — a word that combines “highball” and “shochu,” an ethanol done from rice, barley or honeyed potatoes.

Surveys uncover Japanese women cite these to beer.

But initial a companies had to get women to overcome their hostility to buy canned alcoholic drinks, that many women here compared with prime men.


Japan’s No. 2 brewer, Asahi Group Holdings Ltd, 4 years ago started offered a “Dear Pink” array of cocktails in soothing pinkish cans emblazoned with ribbons. It came in strawberry, mango-yogurt and other fruit flavors.

“Dear Pink” bombed.

Asahi’s was a common mistake, and not only in Japan.

Other brewers’ attempts to daub a womanlike marketplace have mostly unsuccessful since “they typically try to interest by stereotypes,” pronounced Spiros Malandrakis, comparison researcher for alcoholic drinks during Euromonitor.

Czech brewer Aurosa, for example, started offered a splash in pinkish bottles this Jul to interest to women, though faced widespread critique for sexism and gender advertising.

After a possess “Dear Pink” debacle, Asahi tested several can designs and names on both women and group for their new chuhai.

The outcome was a cocktail in a black-and-silver can called “Mogitate,” that means fresh-picked. Coming in lemon, grapefruit and grape flavors, it also contains pieces of fruit.

“We attempted to come adult with a pattern and name that women would strech for, though wasn’t too lovable that it would spin off men,” pronounced Tomomi Miyama, an partner offered manager during Asahi. “In a end, a pattern was kind of gender neutral.”

“Mogitate,” introduced final year, is offered well. It contributed to a 13 percent burst in Asahi’s first-half sales of canned cocktails to 18.1 billion yen, that helped equivalent a 1.5 percent decrease to 243.2 billion yen in splash sales.


With Japanese splash sales staid to tumble for a 12th true year, brewers see a many expansion intensity among women, about 73 percent of whom splash ethanol compared to 84 percent of men, according to a consult conducted by a Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association.

Sales of canned cocktails, that are renouned among women, are growing, distinct many of a other alcoholic drinks brewers have to offer.

Suntory, a third-largest brewer, also had to tweak a “Strong Zero” chuhai after women supposing feedback that a ambience and pattern were too clever and done them demure to buy a product.

It kept a black-and-silver can with a fruit image, though combined some-more flavors, including plum, grape and peach. The accepting among women has improved, a association said.

Offering anniversary flavors, such as apple during autumn, is also renouned among women, brewers have found.

A white paper on consumer spending by a Consumer Affairs Agency expelled this year highlighted a decrease in spending on splash though boost in spending on cocktails and chuhai.

It resolved that “alcohol tastes are shifting.”

As, indeed, are amicable mores, with larger acceptance for women to go out celebration during night.

Mikako Matsuda, 26, pronounced she and her colleagues go celebration roughly each evening, inconceivable for women of her mother’s era who were approaching to wait during home for their husbands or caring for a family.

“Drinking has turn a normal partial of my bland life,” says Matsuda. “I adore a season variations (of chuhai) that give me something new to splash bland after work.”

Reporting and essay by Chehui Peh; modifying by Malcolm Foster Simon Cameron-Moore


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