Sapporo Breweries Ltd. plans to expand in the United States

Sapporo Breweries Ltd. plans to expand in the United States

Sapporo Breweries Ltd. President Hiroyuki Nose during a interview with The Asahi Shimbun in Tokyo s Shibuya Ward Yuji Yamashita Sapporo Breweries Ltd., a craft beer producer based in California, has given the Japanese brand a couple of bases to expand in the United States.

Stone Brewing operates breweries on both the U.S. Pacific and Atlantic coasts, which Sapporo will use to produce its own products from next year.

Sapporo U.S. A. Inc., Sapporo's subsidiary, bought Stone Brewing for $168 million in August. The deal was announced in June.

Sapporo beer products sold in the United States are produced in factories in Canada and Vietnam.

Sapporo has secured production bases in the United States that can help reduce logistics costs under the current export setup due to the acquisition of Stone Brewing.

Sapporo started exporting beer to the United States in 1964. Its Sapporo Premium Beer and other products are sold at mass retailers there.

Its sales in the United States have gone up, except for 2020 due to the novel coronaviruses, and hit a record $71 million in 2021, which is a record amount of sales in the United States.

Sapporo's goal was to increase its overseas sales by at least 1.7 times from 2021 to 2026.

"We want to fit in the everyday lives of people in the United States," Sapporo President Hiroyuki Nose said.

In an interview with The Asahi Shimbun, Nose shared his company's plans to expand operations in the United States and promote the beer brand.

In 1964, we started exporting Sapporo brand beers to the United States. We had record sales last year, making us a top-class beer company among Asian competitors.

Our profit did not grow even if our sales increased. We bring beers produced in Canada and Vietnam into the United States, and sea freight charges have gone up, as well as transportation costs and storage fees in the United States. We wanted factories in the United States so that we could deliver products to important bases such as the states of California, Texas, Florida and New York.

It would take time and we would need to train employees if we were to build factories on our own.

Stone Brewing has factories on both the east and west coasts of the United States, and half of its production capacity has remained untapped.

Q: Why is there increasing sales of Sapporo brand products in the United States?

A: We have had many changes during our more than 50 years of business in the United States. Thanks to the Japanese food boom, many sushi restaurants have opened there, and we entered the market as a Japanese beer maker.

Silver Cup 650 milliliter canned beer, originally sold in Japan, became popular in the United States. The beer is now sold more and more often at Japanese supermarkets, as well as Costco and other mass retailers.

What is the sales goal in the United States?

A: The Sapporo brand sold 5.68 million cases in overseas markets last year, with about half of the amount sold in the United States.

By 2026, we plan to sell 10 million cases abroad. In addition to the United States, we will concentrate our resources in Canada and Asia.

Stone Brewing's flagship craft beer, Stone IPA, is also sold in Japan. It has many unique features, including its package design. One of the goals of the acquisition was to obtain a unique and strong brand.

We don't plan to expand its sales in Japan for now.