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Asahi recently rolled out a new version of its flagship product, Asahi Super Dry, in Asia-Pacific markets including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.
New Asahi Super Dry featured changes made to its beer recipe and packaging design. Its press statement highlighted that this is its first recipe refinement since introducing the beer in 1987.
Regional Head of Brand with Asahi Super Dry, Asia, Mag Lai, told FoodNavigator-Asia that the aforementioned changes highlighted a new brand positioning to reflect “Modern Japan” that combines tradition with innovation.
Lai explained that consumers are increasingly seeking out “an elevated experience beyond the taste of the liquid,” and its packaging is an enabler.
“Effective packaging is no longer just about standing out on the shelf. It must tell a compelling story that resonates with consumers and aligns with their values and preferences. That is exactly what we want to achieve with the New Asahi Super Dry and the delicate design adjustments we have made.
“The packaging presents the two silvers – a shiny metallic silver and a deep oxidized matte – that together reflect the Japanese sense of beauty, contrasting yet harmonizing, complementing yet distinguishing each other.”
Another consumer trend leading beer innovation is the burgeoning market for low-to-no-alcohol beverages.
Earlier this year, Asahi launched its Asahi Super Dry 0.0% in international markets. It is also expected to launch Asahi Super Dry Dry Crystal – a low-alcohol version of 3.5% alcohol by volume compared to 5% by volume for the standard Super Dry – in October this year in Japan.
“By providing alternative options that still match our promise of Beyond Expected drinking experiences, we aim to encourage appropriate alcohol consumption and also recommend new situations in which consumers can enjoy a can of Asahi Super Dry, even if they choose not to drink alcohol,” Lai explained.
Asahi is also seeing a rising consumer interest in flavoured beer and ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, especially in Japan and Taiwan, which it plans to capitalise on its diversified beverage portfolio to tap onto the trend.
Beyond the taste of the beer, Asahi is tapping on other sensory characteristics such as its foaming ability and how long its chill lasts in its new product offerings.
Earlier this year, it launched Asahi Super Dry in a unique Nama Jokki can in Japan. The can is designed with a pull-off top and special interior coating producing fine foam naturally when the can is opened. It claimed to mimic the taste of draft beer served at a bar or restaurant.
Another example is Asahi Super Dry Extra Cold that is only served in the foodservice channel, where it is served at a sub-zero temperature of minus two degrees Celsius, causing the beer to maintain its high-bubble density longer, creating a smoother texture and more refreshing taste.
“There is no doubt that consumers are always looking for new and exciting flavour experiences and combinations. While our original sake-inspired flavour has enabled us to stand out in the market, we understand the importance of making enhancements to the recipe to keep up with evolving drinking preferences,” Lai added.
Lai is hoping that the brand revamp to elicit the brand story of “Modern Japan” could recruit new drinkers across Asia.
“The unique sake-inspired crisp sensation has always been the inspiration behind Asahi Super Dry and that is what has made us standout in the Asian beer market. The new taste with its quick peak and clean finish has been formulated to pair well with many cuisines, which we think will recruit more drinkers to try Asahi Super Dry,” she added regarding the product versatility with different cuisines.
The new product claimed to introduce a new hop treatment process that gives it a “refreshing yet delicate hop aroma,” and new yeast control technology that provides for a fermentation-driven aroma.
Aside from taste, there were additional changes made to its iconic silver look that features two silvers - a shiny metallic silver and a deep oxidized matte silver – to convey their idea of “Modern Japan.”
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