To meet growing demand for beer in Myanmar, Kirin Holdings will invest up to US$30 million to expand the production capacity of its Myanmar brewery by 60% to 350,000 kilolitres, up from 220,000 kilolitres in 2015.
In 2015, Kirin paid US$560 million to gain majority stake in Myanmar Brewery, which is the country’s top beer producer that owns major brands like Myanmar Beer.
Kirin has already installed new equipment at the brewery and started a production line in April for a new canned beer.
The capacity expansion will place Myanmar Brewery’s facility on par with Kirin’s other production sites like Kirin’s Yokohama brewery.
Kirin also plans to upgrade Mandalay Brewery, Myanmar's oldest brewery. The Japanese company set up a joint venture with the brewery's parent, Myanmar Economic Holdings, at the end of 2017.
Growth in Myanmar's beer market had been slow in the past, owing to religious prohibitions on alcohol and decades of military rule that restricted foreign investment. However, in recent years, the market has grown at an annual pace of more than 10%, Kirin said. By 2021, it is expected to reach 900,000kl, up 80% from 2016, according to Euromonitor International.
Kirin controls more than 80% of Myanmar’s beer market. In the future, Myanmar is expected to account for about 10% of the company's overseas sales and emerge as a leading revenue contributor in Southeast Asia. As such, the Japanese brewer seeks to maintain its dominant position in the market amidst competition from Heineken and Thai Beverage’s Fraser & Neave.