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A growing number of health-conscious consumers rejecting beer, wine and spirits represents “a big opportunity”, said the chief executive of Japan’s biggest brewer Asahi, who forecast zero- and low-alcohol drinks would generate half of the company’s beverage sales by as early as 2040.

Atsushi Katsuki, whose group produces beers including Asahi Super Dry, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell, said the company was planning to expand its line-up of alcohol-free beverages in the US, one of the world’s biggest drinks markets, through investments in start-ups.

“It’s a big opportunity as long as we can go down the premium path,” Katsuki told the Financial Times. “Among global players, we have a strong advantage since we have capabilities in both beer and alcohol beverages as well as soft drinks.”

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