Suntory so successful it's cutting back

From the The Yomiuri Shimbun

TOKYO -- While sales figures for alcoholic beverages are all over the map, Suntory Holdings Ltd. has begun limiting shipments of its Kakubin whiskey brand due to the recent unexpected boom in highballs -- a cocktail made with whiskey and soda water.

Suntory took the measure fearing its flagship whiskey might become in short supply amid the highball boom.

Suntory and other makers' quasi-beer products, dubbed "third beer," have enjoyed brisk sales due to their low prices. Conversely, sales of regular beer and happoshu (low-malt beer) remain sluggish as third beer products deprive them of market share.

Suntory decided to limit Kakubin whiskey shipments after the product's January-to-June demand marked a 70% surge over the same period last year. The company judged the situation could lead to shortages of the brand's malt whiskey, which requires many years for maturation.

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