Suntory Holdings Ltd. plans to stop producing and selling happoshu low-malt quasi-beer, becoming the first major brewer to exit the happoshu market.
The firm finished producing its core happoshu product, "MD Golden Dry," in June, and all of its happoshu products should disappear from stores by autumn.
Suntory was the first company to start selling happoshu with its "Hop's Nama" in 1994. Happoshu became popular thanks to its price, which is lower than beer because it contains less than 67 percent malt. But the happoshu market began shrinking in 2003 when "third-category beer," which mainly contains ingredients other than malt and is even cheaper than happoshu, was launched.
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(Jiji Press )