Case | HBS Case Collection | February 1989 (Revised October 1994)

Asahi Breweries Ltd.

by Malcolm S. Salter


Focuses on competitive repositioning, organizational renewal, and personal leadership. Describes how Asahi Breweries was faced with a major capacity expansion decision after succeeding in increasing market share dramatically in the traditionally stable Japanese beer industry. This has been done through the creation of a new product category, "Dry Beer." Information on industry economics, Asahi's organizational process, and competitive interaction are provided as well as an in-depth description of top management's profile and management posture at Asahi. Designed to allow discussion on how to make a balanced decision incorporating such market strategy issues as product strategy, competitor retaliation, advertising policy, rebate policy, and distributor relations management, as well as such organizational elements as corporate goals, financial integrity, quality control, personnel policy, management philosophy, and leadership style.

Keywords: Competitive Strategy; Expansion; Leadership; Organizational Structure; Product Launch; Management Teams; Business or Company Management; Marketing Strategy; Supply Chain Management; Mission and Purpose; Food and Beverage Industry; Japan;


Salter, Malcolm S. "Asahi Breweries Ltd." Harvard Business School Case 389-114, February 1989. (Revised October 1994.)