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Who we are

History

Employees in front of the Kotobukiya shop in Osaka over a century ago

An Unparalleled Legacy

Our journey began with small family-owned store in Osaka, more than 100 years ago. Even now that we have grown into a global company, our founder's spirit always underpins what we do.

It began with the vision of our founder Shinjiro Torii. In 1899, he opened a store with the vision of selling Western-style wine and liquor in Japan. However, the taste of imported wines did not suit Japanese palates and his wines did not sell well at first.

But Shinjiro did not give up. He worked tirelessly to sell different kinds of imported liquors in Japan and to develop his own wine. After many challenges and failures, in 1907, he launched Akadama Port Wine. Akadama Port Wine was made to suit to Japanese palates, and became popular in Japan. This brand is still enjoyed today as Akadama Sweet Wine. This success was not the end of his story. Following his success with wine, he decided to create an authentic Japanese whisky to suit Japanese tastes.

In 1923, he entered the whisky business by starting the construction of the Yamazaki Distillery, the very first malt whisky distillery in Japan. This is where the first Japanese authentic whisky, Suntory Shirofuda (White Label) was born, and the now world-famous Yamazaki Japanese whisky was created. Fifty years later, we opened the Hakushu distillery at the base of the Southern Japanese Alps.

Suntory has continued to thrive after Shinjiro's huge success with Akadama and Japanese whiskies. We now offer many popular products both in Japan and throughout the world. In 1936, we opened our own winery, Tomi No Oka winery. In 1983, we acquired Chateau Lagrange, a vineyard in Bordeaux, France. The 1960s saw us expand our portfolio to a new category, beer, with the vision of creating the perfect beer. After more than decades of dedication, we launched The Premium Malt's, an award-winning beer that leads the premium beer market in Japan today.

Suntory has also expanded its business to non-alcoholic beverages. In 1981, Suntory introduced a canned oolong tea at a time when carbonated soft drinks and juice mainly dominated the non-alcoholic beverage market. Suntory Oolong Tea has been one of the long-selling brands ever since, loved by generations of consumers.

The 1990s marked the expansion of our presence into the non-alcoholic beverage market, and this is when we launched our long-standing canned coffee brand BOSS. But even then, we continued to look ahead, and drive forward. In 2013, after many years of research and development, we launched Iyemon Tokucha. This tea targets mechanisms that assist in the breakdown of body fat, while maintaining the natural taste of green-tea, and is now one of our best-selling FOSHU drinks.

In 2009, we expanded our business globally, acquiring the Frucor Group in Oceania and the Orangina Schweppes Group in Europe. In 2013, we began operations in Vietnam with the establishment of Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverage Co., Ltd, and founded Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ltd after acquiring both brands. A year later, Beam Inc. joined the Suntory family, making us the third-largest premium spirits company in the world*. In 2017, Suntory Brands moved its head quarter into Thailand for further expansion of Brands, a leading health food brand in Thailand. The following year, we started a Joint venture in Thailand with the establishment of Suntory PepsiCo Beverage (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

*IWSR2018
Notes: Retail sales of global spirits and RTD by value, excluding national spirits, cana, raki, other whisky, economy (value) brandy, economy vodka (value and low-price) in Eastern Europe and CIS countries, and including Japanese Whisky (other whisky of Japanese origin)