Rolling Stones Bar Suntory


Rolling Stones Bar Suntory
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source : www.suntory.co.jp/stonesbar/

Can Suntory Get ‘Stones Bar’ Satisfaction?
It’s not really beer, in the true sense, and it’s got a lower alcohol content. So just how much of a kick can a young Japanese hipster get from drinking something like the “Rolling Hop?”

According to drinks maker Suntory Liquors Ltd., plenty. And in case drinkers were in any doubt, Suntory has lined up a new ploy to convince them: A “Stones Bar” series of specially themed alcoholic beverages stamped with none other than the iconic Rolling Stones lips and tongue logo on “stylishly designed” bottles and cans.

The use of the brand made famous by Mick, Keef and the “boys” is aimed at customers “in their 20s who are attuned to fashion,” according to Suntory, who want a stylish container that fits with their trendy image “as they go to clubs and darts bars, or karaoke.”

The beverages are designed to appeal to younger consumers, still developing a taste for beer, with a less bitter taste and an alcohol content of between 4% and 5%, noticeably lower than Japan’s mainstay brews. The “Rolling Hop,” for example, has a 4% alcohol content and is more carbonated than normal.

In a 2010 online survey, both men and women in their 20s were less likely to drink “almost every day” than middle-aged respondents. But Suntory’s own research suggests that Japanese in their 20s are now spending more money on alcohol, at least 17.8% reporting that they had increased the amount they spent on booze, as well as more of the sweeter, less alcoholic beverages.

In fact, like a range of similar drinks in Japan, the “Stones Bar” products aren’t regular beers that contain malt, nor low-malt alternatives: Falling into what’s called the “third beer” category, they contain no malt at all, but are designed to taste like beer, and were developed by Japan’s brewers in an attempt to offset a slow decline in the sale of traditional beers. The line also includes ready-to-drink cocktail beverages, which promise gin or whiskey flavors without the high alcohol content.

Of course, it’s tough to keep track of all the gimmickry, including links with rock and pop stars, that has been wheeled out by brewers in Japan and elsewhere in attempts to persuade picky consumers to choose their brand. Just last year, in arguably one of the least likely hookups, the all-but-forgotten mid-90s American pop sensation Hanson resurfaced when the band said it plans to launch its own “Mmmhop” Indian pale ale, named after the “Mmmbop” global smash, according to reports from the U.K.

With a combined age of 272, the four principal members of the Rolling Stones are, of course, well beyond Suntory’s target demographic for the “Stones Bar” line. A Suntory official said that while the band may be aware of the use of the logo, they haven’t made any official comment. But then the lip and tongue image is actually owned by Universal Music, with which Suntory negotiated the rights for the “Stones Bar” label. Suntory declined to comment on the amount paid to use the logo.

In any case, fans of the band and “third beers” alike will have to wait to get some satisfaction: the drinks don’t go on sale until June 19.

source : Sarah Berlow

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