In September 1997, Kirin Brewery unveiled the New Kirin Vision 21 (NK21), the company's medium-term business plan for 1998-2000 that outlined a structural transformation to be implemented in its core beer business as a step to make the company's management foundation more solid. NK21 also included initiatives to develop the company's beer business outside Japan, to build a solid base for the pharmaceutical and other diversified businesses, and to address social and environmental issues.
In the beer business, Kirin Brewery established clear and distinctive brand and product positioning for its two core products—Kirin Lager Beer and Kirin Ichiban Shibori—and also adopted a multiple-brand strategy to offer a variety of distinctive beer products to various customer segments. Under this strategy, the company entered the low-malt beer market with the introduction of Kirin Tanrei Nama in February 1998. To achieve greater productivity in beer production, the company closed four plants in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Takasaki, and consolidated production into the remaining plants. In an attempt to develop the beer business outside Japan, Kirin Brewery acquired stakes in New Zealand-based beer company Lion Nathan Limited (currently headquartered in Australia) in 1998.
Kirin Brewery followed up NK21, which transformed its beer business, with the Kirin Group Vision 21 (KG21), a strategic initiative announced in September 1999 and intended to transform the entire Kirin Group. Under KG21, Kirin Brewery played the role of the Group's operating holding company responsible for managing the entire Group to increase its corporate value while continuing to conduct the alcoholic beverage business in Japan. The Kirin Group's business lines were realigned into three strategic areas to achieve greater operational efficiency: core businesses, core-related businesses, and diversified businesses. In addition, business units responsible for overseas beer, pharmaceuticals, agribio, and nutrient food and feed were given autonomy in carrying out their respective businesses as self-contained companies within company.
In September 2000, Kirin Brewery announced the KG21 Action Plan, a medium-term business plan for 2001-2003 that broke KG21 down into a set of more detailed game plans. This action plan supported the goal of becoming a comprehensive alcoholic beverage company in Japan with a focus on beer and low-malt beer products. To expand product offerings to meet diverse customer needs, the company brought out Kirin Chu-hi Hyoketsu ready-to-drink sparkling liquor in 2001 and Kirin Nodogoshi Nama, a new type of beer-tasting sparkling liquor, in 2005. Outside Japan, Kirin (China) Investment Co., Ltd. was established in Shanghai in December 2004, responsible for overseeing the Kirin Group's operations in China.
© 2007 Kirin Holdings Company, Limited.