In recent years the Japanese Road Traffic Law has been tightened, especially as concerns drink-driving limits. Drinks containing as little as 0.1% alcohol are now considered alcoholic by the Japanese Food Sanitation Act, so even if one consumes beverages with only 0.1% alcohol content, there is the possibility that one could still be arrested.
As a result, the big 4 Japanese beer companies, Kirin, Asahi, Suntory and Sapporo have been developing completely non alcoholic beer. These beverages are not brewed, but have a beer-like taste. Kirin Free led the market in 2009 as consumers were able to drink without fear of the police. Indeed, most of its customers were drivers and it was the first beer-like product sold at highway shops here.
At the moment, Asahi Beer is working hard to improve its non alcoholic beer. The “Asahi Double Zero” will launch on 3 Aug, and it is not only zero alcohol but also zero calories. Asahi says that Double Zero is made using their technology for analyzing beer flavour and malt extract, allowing them to create a great refreshing taste.
Packaging is 350 ml aluminum can and returnable glass bottle (334 ml). Production is at the company’s Fukushima factory and Asahi plans to sell around 800 thousand cases (633 ml x 20 bottles per case).