Brewer hands out beer to new mothers

One of Japan's largest brewers is targeting an unusual market sector with a campaign giving away cans of its new hit beer - mothers who have just given birth.

Kirin Brewery Co. is giving away a can of its product, named Free, to around 10,000 women who check out of around 80 maternity clinics in the cities of Tokyo and Osaka.

The three-week campaign has not set off howls of protest, however, as Free has 0 percent alcohol and the company says it is aiming to win over new mothers who like a drink but would otherwise feel unable to have a beer because of the effect it might have on their newborn child.

"Until recently there were no beers available that really had zero alcohol in them and new mothers, people who had to drive and people who do sports, for example, felt they were not able to have a drink," Haruka Higashimuki, a spokeswoman for Kirin Brewery, told Relaxnews.

"Our research showed that they often really did want a drink and to relax or reduce stress, but they couldn't," she said.

When Free was first released in April last year, demand was initially expected to be modest, with Kirin anticipating annual sales of 630,000 cases of the new beer, each case containing the equivalent of 20 633-mililiter bottles. That estimate was quickly raised to 2.5 million cases and then to 3.5 million cases. The final figure for the year eventually topped the 4 million cases mark.

The brewer even had to run full-page adverts in national newspapers apologizing to consumers for shortages of the drink due to its popularity.

As well as being alcohol-free, the beer is also cheaper than regular beer, with a 350-mililiter can of Kirin Free costing about Y150 (€1.14), while a regular beer around Y220 (€1.68) for a can of the same size.

Kirin's competitors among the "Big Four" brewers here have been quick to follow up with their own products. Asahi Breweries was the first to come up with a rival, unveiling its Point Zero on September 1. Before the month was out, Suntory Holdings had released Fine Zero and Sapporo Breweries started shipping Super Clear.


Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
footballLouis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
The spider makes its break for freedom
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Product Advisor - Automotive

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Automotive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Renewals Sales Executive - Automotive

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot