The Schweppes brand dates back to 1783 when Jacob Schweppe, a Swiss silversmith, first brought his carbonated beverages to the world. Schweppe’s mineral waters were endorsed by doctors and were known for having health benefits.
A snapshot of our History
Our history is rich, our stories are varied, and together they make us who we are.
Asahi Beverages started to form in 2014 when we announced plans to integrate the operations of the Schweppes Australia and Asahi Premium Beverages businesses. Later that year, we announced plans to extend the integration to include Independent Liquor in New Zealand. Today, we employ more than 2400 people across Australia and New Zealand, with manufacturing facilities in both countries.
Creation of Osaka Brewing Company
The Osaka Beer Brewing Company was established in 1889, by Komakichi Torii who had a grand dream of introducing beer to Japan. The company launched Asahi Draft Beer, Japan’s first bottled draft beer in 1900. From the moment of its creation the Asahi brand was loved by the people of Japan because it embodied a dream and hope for the future.
Asahi Breweries founded
Asahi Breweries was established in 1949 as a spin off from Dai Nippon Breweries, a company jointly established by Osaka Breweries Ltd, Japan Beer Brewery Ltd and Sapporo Beer Co in 1906. In 2011, Asahi Breweries became a pure holding company, changing its name to Asahi Group Holdings.
Cottee’s becomes part of Cadbury Schweppes
From humble beginnings as Cottee’s Passiona Pty Ltd in 1927, Cottee’s became one of Australia’s most trusted and iconic brands. Generations of Australians grew up with Cottee’s cordials, jams, toppings and jellies. In 1984, Cottee’s Foods became part of Cadbury Schweppes (formed by merging Schweppes Australia and Cadbury Fry Pascall in 1970). Today, Cottee’s cordials remain part of the product offer of the Asahi Beverages group. Cottee’s jams, toppings and jellies are no longer made by the group and are now manufactured by other companies.
The foundation for Independent Liquor
In 1987, New Zealand entrepreneur and innovator, Michael Erceg founded the Calypso Beverage Company Limited, the forerunner to Independent Liquor. Seizing opportunities in a deregulated market, he took on the big brewers with a range of beers, along with spirit-based products that were to set the scene for the company’s core business - RTDs (ready to drink beverages). Unfortunately Michael was killed in a helicopter accident in 2005 and most of the company was later sold to private equity partners.
Launch of Asahi Super Dry
Faced with tough times, in 1985 Asahi Breweries set about finding out why their market share was declining. To understand what consumers wanted they conducted a survey of more than 5000 consumers to assess their preferences and tastes. Drawing on their customer-oriented spirit, the company changed the flavour of its beers, culminating in the launch of Asahi Super Dry in 1987. Within 10 years, Asahi Super Dry overtook Japan’s top ranked beers to become the number one beer in that country. Today, Asahi Super Dry is the leading beer in our portfolio in Australia and New Zealand.
Acquisition of non-alcohol businesses
This year was a significant one for acquisitions. In Australia, Asahi Holdings acquired the juice and water business of P&N Beverages, as well as a spring water bottling company, Mountain H2o (completed in January 2012). In New Zealand, a premium juice and organic soft drinks business called Charlie’s was acquired. Charlie’s was later rebranded The Better Drinks Co.
Acquisition of Independent Liquor
Independent Liquor joined the fold in 2011, when Asahi acquired the group from private equity owners. Independent Liquor is based in New Zealand, with a sister company in Australia called Independent Distillers. Independent Distillers was renamed Asahi Premium Beverages in 2013.
Creation of Asahi Beverages
We commenced the integration of the alcohol business, Asahi Premium Beverages and non-alcohol business, Schweppes Australia into to a single operating structure, known as Asahi Beverages.
Later in 2014, we announced that the New Zealand alcohol business, Independent Liquor NZ would be integrated with Asahi Premium Beverages in Australia, creating a single alcohol business unit.
Continuing to grow
Today, Asahi Beverages continues to look for opportunities to expand and develop the organisation, providing innovative and refreshing beverages to suit a wide range of consumer needs. In September 2015, the company acquired craft brewer, Mountain Goat, to add to its portfolio of beer brands, alongside premium imported beer Asahi Super Dry, and craft beer brand, Cricketers Arms.