Business: The Saga off Rising Suntory

Attracting some customers away from the three-sake lunch

"Work hard, drink hard" is not exactly a national motto, but the Japanese seem to do both with rare dedication. Last year they spent a staggering $17.8 billion on alcoholic beverages, up fivefold from ten years ago. Of the $222 that the average Japanese adult invests in hard stuff every year,* 42% goes for beer and 31% for sake (rice wine). What is remarkable is the rise of a Western spirit: whisky. It accounts for 20% of all alcohol sales and comes in scores of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!