This company profile of Asahi reveals the unethical practices of one of the world’s largest beer producers. It provides examples of harmful methods across the categories of political interference, promotion, sabotage, manipulation, and deception – the Dubious 5 strategies.

LOBBYING
PROMOTION
SABOTAGE
MANIPULATION
DECEPTION

Introduction

The Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd is a Japanese beverage holding company headquartered in Sumida, Tokyo. Asahi is the largest brewer in Japan with a national market share of almost 40%. It also has large market shares in Australia (47%), Romania (39%) and in the Czech Republic (48%). 

The president and CEO is Atsushi Katsuki, who held the position since March 2021. 

Fast Facts about Asahi

  • Total revenue: JPY 2,511 billion (USD 16.9 billion)
  • Alcohol volume sold: 62.2 million hectoliters
  • Lobbying costs (EU): 200,000 – 299,999 €
  • Gross profit: JPY 922 billion (USD 6.2 billion)
  • Market share (beer): 3.1 %
  • Number of employees: 29,920

Asahi involvement in front groups

  • International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD)
  • Brewers of Europe
  • World Federation of Advertisers
  • Alcohol Beverages Australia
  • Brewers Association of Australia (via Carlton & United Breweries)
  • DrinkWise (via Carlton & United Breweries)
  • Australian Hotels Association (via Carlton & United Breweries)
  • ABAC – Responsible Alcohol Marketing Code

UNETHICAL PRACTICES by Asahi

Australia Raises Alcohol Excise Taxes

Australia has raised its alcohol excise taxes by 4% bringing the price of a pint of beer to $15. Currently, Australia increases excise ...

Big Alcohol Reveals Dependence on Cheap Alcohol in New Zealand, Battles Against Alcohol Tax Rate Adjustment to Inflation Rate

The excise tax rate on alcohol is adjusted to inflation annually in New Zealand. With inflation rising this means alcohol taxes will also ...

Communities Prevent Worsening of Alcohol Taxation in Australia

A proposed 50% tax cut on draught beer pushed by the alcohol industry lobby received heavy media coverage before the Australian Federal ...

The Olympics and Alcohol Harms – An Overview

Olympics officials banned alcohol sales for both spectators and athletes in the athletes village. Despite pressure from Big Alcohol giant ...

BROWSE MORE UNETHICAL PRACTICES by Asahi

BIG ALCOHOL IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Whisky brands are very reliant on a small number of heavy, and increasingly ageing, consumers, to provide the majority of volume [...] in the longer term we had to attract more younger drinkers—the heavy- using loyalists of tomorrow [to avoid] the potentially disastrous implications of losing heavy drinkers”.

Source: Research article

“If Miller Lite was to be a large profitable brand we had to attract these young heavy drinkers”.

Source: Research article

To the extent [that laws or regulations or actions against us to substantially curtail the consumption of alcohol, including beer] gain traction, they could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial results. For example, the European Union published its Europe Beating Cancer Plan. As part of the plan, by the end of 2023, the European Union has indicated it will issue a proposal for mandatory health warnings on alcohol beverage product labels."

Source: Molson Coors Annual Report 2022

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