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Food & Beverage

China's top brewer extends reach beyond shrinking beer market

CR Beer's forays into baijiu and nonalcoholic brew target consumer shifts

China Resources Beer is pursuing consumers with growing incomes and a taste for premium beer.   © Reuters

DALIAN, China -- As changing consumer tastes threaten to erode China's beer sales, the nation's top brewer is rushing to diversify its product lineup, by branching out into traditional liquor and developing non-alcoholic offerings. 

China Resources Beer (Holdings) will take a 40% stake in Shandong Jingzhi Baijiu through a subsidiary, according to plans released this month by China's market regulator. Jingzhi is a producer of baijiu, a traditional sorghum-based liquor, with brands including Yipin Jingzhi.

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