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Kirin U.S.A. takes over the distribution of its own brands.

Citing "totally different" market conditions today, Kirin U.S.A., the United States importer of the Kirin brand portfolio, announced plans to begin distribution and marketing of its own products in place of Martlet Importing, a division of Molson U.S.A.

"We started a joint venture with Martlet five years ago," reported Kirin U.S.A. president Kazuyasu Kato. "At that point we could expect very high growth in the category. Even Japanese beer category expected more than a 10-percent increase.

"Through a big company like Martlet, we could sell more beer," Kato continued. Now our situation is totally different. We have very low growth over these past three years. "

With that scenario in mind, Kato believed his company could function just as well as its own U.S. agent. By concentrating on individual markets, growth is possible, he added.

"Looking at our current sales, 65 percent are in Japanese restaurants," Kato said. "That market is still our core, and we will concentrate our efforts there. "

Nonetheless, Kato pointed out that Kirin U.S.A. will also work on developing other broader markets for the brands. We have other general markets in major cities like New York, San Francisco and Boston," Kato explained. "We have selected some markets where we expect consumers to drink our beer. "

Despite moving to its own distribution means, Kirin U.S.A. will continue its agreement with Molson to brew the beer in Canada for sale in the U.S., Kato said.
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Title Annotation:Kirin Brewery Company Ltd.
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Jul 13, 1992
Previous Article:Brewing stocks go flat in 2nd quarter as economy stalls.
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