Suntory Holdings Limited
Type Kabushiki gaisha
Industry Beverage
Founded Osaka, Japan (1899)
Founder(s) Torii Shinjiro
Headquarters Osaka, Japan

Suntory Holdings Limited (サントリーホールディングス株式会社 Santorī Hōrudingusu Kabushiki-Gaisha?) is a Japanese brewing and distilling company group. Established in 1899, it is one of the oldest companies in the distribution of alcoholic beverages in Japan. Its business has expanded to other fields, and the company now offers everything from soft drinks to sandwich chains. Suntory is headquartered in Dojimahama 2-chome, Kita-ku, Osaka, Osaka prefecture.

On July 14, 2009, Kirin announced that it is negotiating with Suntory on a merger.[1] On February 8, 2010, it was announced that negotiations between the two were terminated.[2]



Suntory headquarters, Osaka, Japan

Suntory was started by Torii Shinjiro, who first opened his store Torii Shoten in Osaka on February 1, 1899, to sell imported wines. In 1907, the store began selling a sweet tasting red wine called Akadama Port Wine. The store became the Kotobukiya company in 1921 to further expand its business. In December 1924, Yamazaki Distillery, the first Japanese whisky distillery, began its production of malt whisky. Five years later Suntory Whisky Sirofuda (White Label), the first single malt whisky made in Japan, was sold.

Due to wartime shortage of World War II, Kotobukiya was briefly forced to halt its development of new products. In 1961, Kotobukiya launched the famous "Drink Tory's (Whisky) and Go to Hawaii" campaign. At the time, a trip abroad was considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. In 1963, Kotobukiya changed its name to "Suntory", taken from the name of the famous whisky it produces. In the same year, Musashino Beer Factory began its production of the Suntory Beer. In 1997, the company became Japan's sole bottler, distributor, and licensee of Pepsi products.

On April 1, 2009, Suntory became a stockholding company named "Suntory Holdings Limited (サントリーホールディングス株式会社?)" and established "Suntory Beverage and Food Limited (サントリー食品株式会社?)", "Suntory Products Limited (サントリープロダクツ株式会社?)", "Suntory Wellness Limited (サントリーウェルネス株式会社?)", "Suntory Liquors Limited (サントリー酒類株式会社?)", "Suntory Beer & Spirits Limited (サントリービア&スピリッツ株式会社?)", "Suntory Wine International Limited (サントリーワインインターナショナル株式会社?)", and "Suntory Business Expert Limited (サントリービジネスエキスパート株式会社?)".[3]


Suntory Malts beer.jpg

Joint ventures

A Suntory "Kaku-bin" Whisky bottle and glass display at a Yamaya Liquor store in Iizaka, Japan

From the early 1990s, Suntory has collaborated extensively with Melbourne biotechnology firm Florigene to genetically engineer the world's first true blue rose, a symbol often associated with the impossible or unattainable. In 1991, the team won the intense global race to isolate the gene responsible for blue flowers, and has since developed a range of genetically modified flowers expressing colors in the blue spectrum, as well as a number of other breakthroughs extending the vase life of cut flowers.

In 2003, Suntory acquired a 98.5% equity holding in Florigene. Prior to this, Florigene had been a subsidiary of global agrochemicals giant Nufarm Limited since 1999. In July 2004, Suntory and Florigene scientists announced to the world the development of the first roses containing blue pigment, an important step toward the creation of a truly blue colored rose.

In July 2011, Suntory Beverage and Food Limited together with PT GarudaFood from Indonesia have agreed to make a new firm to produce non-alcoholic drink with 51 percent and 49 percent shares respectively. It will produce Suntory Ooolong Tea, Boss and Orangina.[5]

Media and advertising

  • Suntory was one of the first Asian companies to specifically employ American celebrities to market their product.[citation needed] One of the most notable is Sammy Davis, Jr., who appeared in a series of memorable Suntory commercials in the early 1970s. In the late 1970s, Akira Kurosawa directed a famous series of commercials featuring American celebrities on the set of his film Kagemusha. One of these featured Francis Ford Coppola (an executive producer of the film), which later inspired his daughter Sofia Coppola in her writing of Lost in Translation, a film which focuses on an American actor filming a Suntory commercial in Tokyo.
  • A Reuters photo by Toshiyuki Aizawa from July 2003 showed Suntory's unusual marketing strategy of TV helmets. In this scheme, advertising company employees clad in orange jumpsuits wear televisions that broadcast wide-screen digital feeds of the brewing company's commercial on top of their helmets.
  • Suntory operates two museums, the Suntory Museum of Art in Tokyo and the Suntory Museum Tempozan in Osaka, in addition to a number of cultural and social programs across Japan.
  • Suntory produced several drinks under the name "Final Fantasy Potion", named for the weakest and most common healing item in the game, each were released in Japan only for a limited time to promote the release of the Square Enix game Final Fantasy XII, the 10th Anniversary of Final Fantasy VII, and the release of Dissida Final Fantasy, which comes in two varieties. Each drink is different despite sharing the name. For the release of Final Fantasy XIII the Potion name was abandoned and replaced with Elixir, an item which typically heals one party member fully and restores all MP.
  • There is a top Japanese rugby club called the Suntory Sungoliath owned by the Suntory company.
  • In the 1970s, Suntory engaged US pop group, the Carpenters, to advertise its new line of soft drinks.
  • Suntory is a former sponsor of the professional match play golf tournament played annually at Wentworth Club, near London.
  • Suntory Kakubin is featured in an episode of the 2006 anime series Bartender entitled "Menu of the Heart."
  • In the 2000s, to advertise its The Premium Malt's beer, there has been a series of television ads featuring Eikichi Yazawa and various versions of the title song of Shall We Dance?.


01 Suntory beer.jpg

Alcoholic drinks

  • Beers
    • Malt's
    • The Premium Malt's
  • Rum
  • Whiskies
    • Chita
    • Hibiki
    • Kaku-bin
    • Red
    • Reserve
    • Royal
    • Tory's
    • White
    • Yamazaki
  • Liqueurs
    • Midori
    • Zen
    • Aki (Discontinued in 1988)

Soft drinks

Food for specified health uses (FOSHU)

The following drinks were approved as Food for Specified Health Uses (FOSHU).[6][7][8]

  • Black Oolong Tea
  • Calcium and Iron Beverage
  • Sesame Barley Tea

See also


  1. ^ キリン:サントリーと経営統合へ交渉 - 毎日jp(毎日新聞) Mainichi Shimbun (Retrieved on July 13, 2009)
  2. ^ Termination of Merger Negotiation with Kirin Suntory News Release (Retrieved on February 8, 2010)
  3. ^ Suntory News Release on January 19, 2009 (Global webside), (Japan website) - Suntory Limited
  4. ^ "Japan's Suntory snaps up Orangina". BBC News (BBC). 2009-11-13. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Food for Specified Health Uses (FOSHU)", Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (Retrieved on May 1, 2010)
  7. ^ "Beverages, Health Beverages", Suntory (Retrieved on May 1, 2010)
  8. ^ "Soft drink product information" (Japanese), Suntory (Retrieved on May 1, 2010)

External links

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