Japan & USA: Asahi Group buys Octopi Brewing, plans brewing Super Dry beer in the US for the first time

Japan's Asahi Group Holdings has bought U.S.-based Octopi Brewing and will use the contract beverage maker's facility to brew its flagship Super Dry beer in the U.S. for the first time, the Nikkei Asia reported on January 6.

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Source:  Company news

Asahi subsidiary Asahi Europe & International acquired Wisconsin-based Octopi. Financial terms of the deal and Octopi's sales figures were not disclosed.

The North American market accounts for 7% of Super Dry sales, or about 700,000 cases in 2022. The beer has been made in Japan or Italy and exported to North America.

Asahi plans to make about 700,000 cases of beer at Octopi's brewery, equivalent to the amount exported to the region. Additional investments will be considered.

Asahi is targeting Super Dry sales volume growth in the mid-10% range or greater every year through 2030. The company has expanded through acquisitions in Europe and Australia, but its lack of a manufacturing base in North America has been a hurdle to a wider reach.

First sold in 1987, Super Dry regained the top spot in Japan's beer market in 2022 from longtime rival Kirin.

Octopi, which was founded in 2014 and has about 200 employees, makes beer and non-alcoholic drinks.

Japanese beer brands have struggled to break into the North American market against established players like Constellation Brands, which produces Corona and other beers, and Bud Light maker Anheuser-Busch.

Sapporo Breweries, another major Japanese beer company, began making its overseas-exclusive Sapporo Premium beer in the U.S. in December, using facilities owned by Stone Brewing, which it acquired in 2022. Before that, Sapporo shipped the beer from Canada or Vietnam.

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