from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Suntory Holdings

legal form Kabushiki-gaisha ( joint stock company )
ISIN JP3336560002
founding February 1899
Seat Kita-ku , Osaka , JapanJapanJapan 
management Nobutada Saji (Chairman of the Board)
Number of employees 42,081 (2015)
sales 2,687 billion yen (2015)
Branch Spirits , beverages
As of December 31, 2015

Suntory Holdings KK ( Japanese サ ン ト リ ー ホ ー ル デ ィ ン グ ス 株式会社 Santorī Hōrudingusu Kabushiki-gaisha ) is a Japanese beverage manufacturer and, with a market share of approx. 70%, Japan's largest whiskey manufacturer. The company was founded in February 1899 by Shinjirō Torii (1879–1962) with the name "Kotobukiya" in Osaka , making it one of the oldest in the distribution of alcoholic beverages. Originally just a distillery and after the Second World War also a brewery, the business areas were expanded so that everything from soft drinks to fine wines, but also ice cream and flowers, is now available. The company's headquarters are in Dojimahama, Kita-ku, Osaka. Suntory is one of the five largest spirits groups in the world.


The founder of Suntory, the "Golden Boy" Shinjirō Torii, who was interested in Western products , opened his first store, Torii Shoten , which sold imported wines (mainly from Spain) in February 1899 in Osaka . On December 1, 1921, this business was renamed Kabushiki kaisha Kotobukiya ( 株式会社 壽 屋 ). In 1924 he began with the collaboration of Masataka Taketsuru (the first Japanese who had found out about whiskey production in Scotland, separated from Torii a few years later and founded the rival company Nikka ) in 1923 in Yamazaki, a mountain valley between Osaka and Kyoto , founded Japan's first distillery " Yamazaki " with the production of single malt whiskey . During this time, the name "Suntory" was used as a brand name for the first time. At that time, the company had been producing a sweet port called "Akadama" ( 赤 玉 ポ ー ト ワ イ ン ), along with other western-style spirits such as liqueurs and brandies, since 1907 . The name "Akadama", which means "red ball" in German, was associated with the sun, which gave the company founder the idea to use the English counterpart "Sun" with an Anglicized version of his family name to the made-up word and brand name "Suntory" to combine. Five years later he sold the first Japanese single malt whiskey under the name Suntory Whiskey Shirofuda (Suntory Whiskey - White Label).

The whiskey brand "Kakubin" appeared in 1937, but the breakthrough came with "Old Suntory" in the 1950s. After the Second World War, the Suntory company also started the beer brewing business and developed into the fourth largest brewery in Japan.

Suntory's distillery in Hakushū ( 白 州 ) is one of the largest malt distilleries in the world

Torii's company has been famous for its innovative advertising campaigns especially since the early 1960s . In 1961, Suntory launched its famous "Drink this Whiskey and Fly to Hawaii " campaign. At that time, traveling abroad was completely unaffordable for most Japanese. Suntory opened a chain of pubs based on the American model under the name "Tory Whiskey Bars" in Japan. By propagating whiskey as a sake substitute that could also be drunk with warm water with meals, Suntory succeeded in triggering a Japanese whiskey boom in the 1960s. In 1962 the company changed its name from Kotobukiya to Suntory , the name of its famous product. In the same year, under the leadership of Keizō Saji, Torii's son, the production of beer , mineral water, food and much more began

A second malt distillery was opened by the company in 1973 in Hakushu . With 24 stills ( potstill type ) it became the largest in the world. A third malt distillery was established there in 1981.

In 1994 Suntory took over the Scottish whiskey distillery Bowmore , after which it had been part of Suntory until then.

Suntory has been making a lemonade called CC Lemon since 1994 . In Japan, The Simpsons are primarily known as an advertising medium for this lemonade.

In 1997 the company became a licensee of Pepsi and thus advanced to become the exclusive bottler and marketer of all Pepsi products in Japan.

According to media reports from July 13, 2009, the two leading Japanese beverage giants Kirin and Suntory were in talks about a merger. The talks were broken off in February 2010 without an agreement.

In 2009 the company took over the Orangina brand . On April 1, 2009, the group of companies was converted to a holding system and the core company Suntory KK ( サ ン ト リ ー 株式会社 ) was renamed Suntory Holdings KK .

By the end of 2013, Suntory will take over the drinks division of the British company GlaxoSmithKline for 1.35 billion pounds. To this end, the Lucozade and Ribena brands are also taken over.

In early 2014, the acquisition of Jim Beam for $ 13.6 billion was initiated and finally completed, creating the US subsidiary Beam Suntory .


In addition to the numerous brands held by its subsidiary Beam Suntory , the company has various own brands.

Yamazaki Suntory

The Yamazaki distillery is one of three owned by Suntory and the oldest whiskey distillery in Japan

Yamazaki Suntory is a Japanese single malt whiskey with usually 43% alcohol.

Today's distillery is located near Kyōto , the surroundings of which have a diverse climate and high humidity. The whiskey is offered in 0.7-liter bottles with a barrel aging of 10, 12, 18 and 25 years.

Suntory Hibiki

Hibiki is a whiskey blend made from various matured whiskeys from three Suntory distilleries. It is available with ages of 12, 17, 21 and 30 years and with no age information.

Suntory Hibiki ( ) has received several international awards:

12 years

  • IWSC Gold 2010
  • ISC Gold 2010

17 years

  • SWSC Gold 2005
  • IWSC Gold 2007
  • ISC Gold 2009

21 years

  • ISC Gold 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010
  • WWA World's Best Blended Whiskey 2010, 2011
  • IWSC Gold 2010

30 years

  • ISC Trophy 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008
  • WWA World's Best Blended Whiskey 2007, 2008
  • IWSC Gold 2007

Other brands

The Yamazaki single malt whiskey is next to Hibiki one of the best known in Europe
  • Suntory White ( サ ン ト リ ー ホ ワ イ ト ), since 1929
  • Suntory Kakubin ( サ ン ト リ ー 角 瓶 , dt .: square bottle ), since 1937
  • Torys Whiskey ( ト リ ス ウ イ ス キ ー ), blend, since 1946
  • Suntory Old, a lightly peated blend from Yamazaki, since 1950
  • Suntory Royal ( サ ン ト リ ー ロ ー ヤ ル ), blend, since the 1960s (since 1995 also in Germany)
  • Suntory Imperial Blend, since 1964
  • Suntory Red Extra ( サ ン ト リ ー レ ッ ド ), since 1964
  • Suntory Reserve ( サ ン ト リ ー リ ザ ー ブ ), Blend, since 1969
  • Suntory Burai-Ha, Blend, since 1998, named after the literary group of the same name from the 1920s, who u. a. Dan Kazuo and Dazai Osamu belonged and with whose members the company founder was friends.
  • Suntory Za, Malt, since 1998
  • Suntory Sanshiro, simple blend, since 1999
  • Suntory Minami Alps ( 南 ア ル プ ス , German about: Southern Alps ), Pure-Malt, since 2000
  • Suntory Zen, Malt, since 1999
  • Suntory Hakushū, Pure-Malt, named after the distillery of the same name, aged 10, 12, 18 and 25 years
  • Suntory Yamazaki ( 山 梨 ), malt, named after the distillery of the same name

Cultural activities

In 1961 the then chairman of the board Saji Keizō founded the " Suntory Museum of Art " in Tokyo , which has an important collection of Japanese art. After moving several times, it is now in the "Tokyo Midtown" complex and forms the "Roppongi Art Triangle" with the private Mori Art Museum and the National Art Center Tokyo . Suntory also operates Suntory Hall , which opened in 1985, in the Roppongi Hills complex.

Suntory in the media

Suntory was one of the first Asian companies to use American film stars to market their products. In the late 1970s Akira Kurosawa made a famous series of commercials starring American stars. One of them was Francis Ford Coppola , whose daughter Sofia Coppola was later inspired to incorporate the brand into the plot of the film while writing the script for Lost in Translation . In it, the main actor is currently shooting a Suntory commercial in Tokyo .


  • Stefan Gabányi: Schumann's Whisk (e) y Lexicon . 2nd Edition. Collection Rolf Heyne, Leipzig 2010, ISBN 978-3-89910-338-0 , p. 456-459 .
  • Gilbert Delos: Les Whiskeys du Monde. Translation from French: Karin-Jutta Hofmann: Whiskey from all over the world. Karl Müller, Erlangen 1998, ISBN 3-86070-442-7 , pp. 152-154 ( Suntory ).


  1. An equally common, but allegedly erroneous explanation for the name Suntory is the assumption that the term was reproduced in Japanese by inversion of Torii-san ( と り い さ ん ), in German Mr. Torii .
  2. Until 1964 Suntory Shirofuda ( サ ン ト リ ー 白 札 ), since then under the English name.
  3. Distillery, opened in 1973 in Yamanashi Prefecture , is the largest whiskey brewery in the world with a possible production volume of 26 million liters per year
  4. One of the oldest distilleries in Japan, opened near Kyōtō in 1923, owned by Suntory, produces malt whiskey

Individual evidence

  1. a b Overview
  2. ^ Stefan Gabányi: Schumann's Whisk (e) y Lexicon . Collection Rolf Heyne, Leipzig 2010, p. 456 .
  3. ^ Stefan Gabányi: Schumann's Whisk (e) y Lexicon . Collection Rolf Heyne, Leipzig 2010, p. 457 .
  4. ^ Gilbert Delos: Whiskey from all over the world. 1998, p. 153.
  5. ^ Beverage groups Kirin and Suntory in merger talks dpa-AFX on July 17, 2009
  6. Kirin-Suntory merger talks break down. Deal doomed by discord over share ratio. In: The Japan Times . February 9, 2010, accessed March 15, 2010 .
  7. Japan's Suntory to buy US spirits maker Beam for $ 13.6 billion cash Reuters, January 14, 2014, accessed January 17, 2014
  8. Suntory Holdings Completes Acquisition Of Beam Inc. Beam Suntory , April 30, 2014, accessed November 5, 2015 .
  9. ^ Stefan Gabányi: Schumann's Whisk (e) y Lexicon . Collection Rolf Heyne, Leipzig 2010, p. 458 (In the Whisk (e) y Lexicon Osamu is incorrectly stated.).

See also

Web links

Commons : Suntory  - collection of images, videos and audio files