Through acquisitions, SUNTORY LTD. has become the second-largest supplier of bottled water in the United States (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 353, February 1999, p. 7). Now, its Marietta, Georgia SUNTORY WATER GROUP, INC. subsidiary is trying to build a position from the ground up for its parent's bottled oolong tea. It is starting small. Available in four flavors straight, light, lemon and raspberry the 16-ounce bottles are being sold for now only in select upscale grocery stores on the West Coast. Moreover, at $1.20 a bottle, the product costs about 20 percent more than American bottled or canned tea. Accordingly, Suntory expects to sell just 300,000 cases of 24 bottles each in the first year of marketing.
An exchange rate of ¥120=$1.00 was used in this report. aaaaa