Japanese beer giant Kirin has continued its push into healthcare, as bosses fear that heightened regulation in the sector looms.
The Tokyo-based brewer in March announced it would be pumping £667m into the pharmaceutical pivot over the next three years, in hopes of generating £3.1bn in healthcare sales over the next decade.
“I feel that more regulations are to come, and future of the beer business will probably be very difficult,” Takeshi Minakata, head of the health science at Kirin, told Bloomberg today.
“There is a certain risk to continue to rely on the alcohol industry forever.”
Minakata added that “handling microorganisms is in Kirin’s DNA”, which gives the company’s healthcare division “a really high potential.”
CEO Yoshinori Isozaki told the Financial Times earlier this year that his goal is to turn Kirin into a fermentation biotechnology company, suggesting its beer segment will not grow forever.
Kirin first made the jump into the healthcare sector in the 1980s. The company has already doubled down on its dietary supplements, made via fermentation technology.