Asahi Asia’s Kinyi Choo on New Asahi Super Dry Rebrand
Asia/ Venture/ Profiles

Asahi Asia Managing Director Kinyi Choo on Beer Rebranding and APAC Push

Kinyi Choo Asahi Asia Managing Director on Beer Rebranding and APAC Push 1

Experienced drinks businessman Kinyi Choo has led Asahi Beer Asia as managing director since March 2020. He has projected a new rebrand and reposition in 2023, which has seen the Japanese brand strengthen its image and innovation across the Asia-Pacific region.

Focusing on the growth of Asahi’s brands in APAC, particularly in major markets, Mainland China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, Kinyi is determined to tell the unique modern Japan story with a new identity for the group’s most popular brand of Asahi Super Dry.

Asahi is aiming to penetrate the mid-strength and moderate alcohol category in the regional drinks business. The Beat Asia spoke with Kinyi to understand the group’s direction for a powerful rebranding of its APAC strategy. 

Asahi Asia’s Kinyi Choo on New Asahi Super Dry Rebrand

What attracts you to the role of Asahi Beer Asia’s Managing Director? What responsibilities in APAC do you assume with promoting Asahi?

There are a few reasons why I was attracted to this role. Passion for the industry and 20 years of business have inspired me continuously with creativity and innovation in this space.

The vibrant and rapidly evolving Asian beer market has tremendous opportunities for further expansion and development. It is exciting to be at the forefront of this growth, developing innovative strategies to expand our presence and capture new opportunities across the region.

At Asahi International, we produce beverages we are proud of. I was drawn to the opportunity to work with a talented team of professionals passionate about delivering high-quality products and experiences to customers around the world.

How do you promote Japanese drinking culture across the region with Asahi’s products?

In Japan, drinking culture is a social activity that is often the gateway to building relationships and strengthening bonds. We strive to bring this aspect of Japanese drinking culture to other Asian markets, but also beyond.

We hope to also connect with sports lovers, not just in Asia, but also around the world, through our partnership with four City Football Group clubs, including Manchester City, Melbourne City, Yokohama F. Marinos, and Sichuan Jiuniu.

The aim of our partnerships with these world stage football and rugby tournaments is to showcase [how] the unique Super Dry taste of Japan’s No.1 Beer can enrich fans' experiences across Asia and the rest of the world, not just within Japan.

Asahi Asia’s Kinyi Choo on New Asahi Super Dry Rebrand

With Asahi created in the 1980s in Japan, arguably the most famous and recognisable Japanese beer on the market worldwide, how do you modernise and set yourselves apart?

While Asahi Super Dry was first introduced in 1987, we have since evolved and innovated to modernise ourselves and ensure we are always ahead of the curve.

We’ve achieved this through brand positioning and packaging, taste and recipe enhancements, and global partnerships. We've introduced the New Asahi Super that reflects the Japanese sense of beauty, contrasting yet harmonising, complementing yet distinguishing.

Why did Asahi revamp its image in Japan in 2022, and how is that reflecting in other APAC countries?

The Asia beer industry is currently in a state of flux, where consumers in the region are increasingly turning to premium beers. We saw this shift as an opportunity to revamp ourselves and bring elevated and innovative experiences – an unexpected journey of Modern Japan – to consumers.

We introduced the revamped Asahi Super Dry in the Japanese market in 2022, and were able to successfully connect with consumers through our Modern Japan positioning. We are now rolling out our new positioning, packaging, and taste to our key markets in Asia—Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore, and Taiwan.

Our aim is to further strengthen Asahi Super Dry’s positioning in Asia as a premium brand, through the unique Modern Japan proposition and strong innovation that tells the modern Japan story from a cultural perspective.

Asahi Asia’s Kinyi Choo on New Asahi Super Dry Rebrand

How are you reinventing Japan’s top beer for a health-conscious and millennial-strong drinking demographic?

From product offerings to the consumer experience, Asahi Super Dry has a well-rounded approach to leveraging the latest trends and consumption occasions. By introducing the Asahi Super Dry 0.0%, an alcohol-free alternative, in some markets, we can recommend new situations in which consumers can enjoy a can of Asahi Super Dry, even if they choose not to drink alcohol.

We are also about to bring to our proprietary and award-winning innovation, Nama Jokki Can, to a few key markets in Asia, a can with a special interior coating that produces a fine foam, making it the world’s first product that allows consumers to enjoy the same taste as a mug of draft beer.

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