Entering the canned chu-hai market as a latecomer, Kirin’s “Hyoketsu” has become a blockbuster product with a cumulative sales volume exceeding 17.5 billion units (250ml cans, until the end of March 2022). If we redefine a blockbuster product, it’s not just about individual sales but also about serving as a cornerstone for expanding the market itself.

In this regard, “Hyoketsu” is undoubtedly a transformative product for the canned chu-hai market. Since its introduction, the RTD (Ready To Drink) market, centered around canned chu-hai, has experienced rapid expansion. “Hyoketsu” was launched on July 11, 2001, towards the end of the summer season. In 2001, the RTD market was 350,000 kiloliters in size. However, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022, it grew to 1.63 million kiloliters, roughly 4.6 times larger over the span of 21 years.

 

On the 15th, Kirin Beer announced the launch of the “Ice mottainai Project,” which utilizes discarded fruits that cannot be sold due to being out of specification as raw materials for chu-hai. The first product, “Ice mottainai Hamanashi,” made from brand pears produced in Yokohama City, will be available nationwide at supermarkets and convenience stores from May 7th. Since its inception in 2001, “Kirin Ice” has utilized approximately 100 types of fruits and developed around 500 products. Recognizing the challenge faced by fruit farmers who have to dispose of a large amount of out-of-specification fruits, they launched this project to contribute to solving the issue, positioning these fruits as “mottainai fruits.” By 2027, they plan to reduce fruit waste by 150 tons annually through this project.
 
Kirin Beer states that they want to expand the circle of empathy and contribute to further market expansion by releasing new products that balance deliciousness and social contribution. “Hamanashi” is characterized by its juicy richness and sweetness. Harvested in the morning and sold directly on the same day, it is difficult to find in the market and is sometimes called the “phantom pear.” However, many are discarded due to “denshō,” where part of the flesh becomes semi-transparent and water-soaked. This product aims to reduce waste by approximately 22,000 pieces. One reason for choosing “Hamanashi” as the first product is that Yokohama is the birthplace of Kirin Beer.
 
Farmers and representatives from JA Yokohama who attended the press conference on the 15th expressed their joy, saying, “The discarded fruits are given new life and delivered nationwide.”
 
Kirin Beer will donate 1 yen to fruit farmers for every bottle sold in this project. Additionally, they will collaborate with the MOTTAINAI campaign and allocate some of the proceeds to the Green Belt Movement, a reforestation initiative founded by Wangari Maathai in Kenya.

Related Articles

Soy milk butter from Fuji oil company.

Soy milk butter from Fuji oil company.

Introducing Soy Milk Cream Butter: Fuji Oil's Innovative Plant-Based Delight from GOODNOON Brand. Featuring a deep richness from soybeans combined with an overwhelming melt-in-your-mouth quality and a light aftertaste, this product has received positive feedback in...

Next to Mochi? Kuzukiri Sweet innovation

Next to Mochi? Kuzukiri Sweet innovation

The chewy texture of Japanese sweets MOCHI is gaining attention overseas, and the texture of kuzukiri is likely to become a new innovative product in the market. A new sensation in ice cream made with kudzu starch and eaten "semi-thawed" is generating buzz. This...

Muji Upcycle new snack items

Muji Upcycle new snack items

Japanese major retailers are advancing product development using upcycled materials. Although the concept of upcycling has existed for a long time, with the rise in environmental awareness, retailers are actively developing products using discarded materials to appeal...