Anheuser-Busch will take things a step
further in their 10-year relationship with the Japanese brewer Kirin.
A-B and Kirin have decided that the King of Beers will take on the
marketing and selling responsibilities for the Kirin brands in the
United States Over the last decade A-B has been brewing and
distributing Kirin in the United States, giving them insight into the
growth potential of the brand.
The move is not a surprise, as we reported just last week, A-B has
been making strides to add more premium brands to their portfolio. By
adding the sales and marketing of Kirin, A-B will have the opportunity
to see more benefits of the ever-growing Asian beer market.
Under the new agreement Anheuser-Busch will have full oversight of
both Kirin Ichiban and Kirin Light in the United States. Kirin will
maintain the trademark responsibility for both brands. August A.
Busch IV, president of A-B commented on the potential of Kirin due to
the recent demand for high-end Asian cuisine and culture, “The Kirin
beers are of the highest quality and have enormous potential, as the
Asian influence is rapidly growing. The agreement enhances a global
relationship between our two companies.”
The deal seems to be beneficial to both brands. A-B has been able
to watch closely as the Kirin brands have grown in popularity amongst
American consumers over the last 10 years. With a decade’s worth of
research behind them, A-B is certainly making a very conservative, if
not informed decision. Likewise, Kirin will be able to focus on
their domestic sales and marketing and leave their foreign interests
in the hands of the largest and most successful brewery in the
UnitedÂ States. With the shift from contract to licensed brewing, A-B
will assume both loss and profits - allowing Kirin to sit back and
collect their licensing fee. Nice deal.