Who We Are
History: An Unparalleled Legacy
From a family-owned store in Osaka to an unrivaled beverage portfolio enjoyed around the world, Suntory has brought the unexpected to new markets for more than 100 years, all while treasuring generations of artisanship and embracing global tastes.
In 1899, Shinjiro Torii opened a store in Osaka to sell imported wines. At the time, imported wines were not commonly enjoyed for drinking pleasure in Japan, as they were primarily used for medicinal purposes. Consequently, since Japanese palates were unfamiliar with western liquor, they did not sell well in Japan.
But Torii believed there could still be a market for western-style liquor in his home country. For a number of years, he sold various products but without any great success.
Then, in 1907, Torii introduced to Japan a sweet-tasting red wine called Akadama Port Wine. It became the first wine to gain wide favor with Japanese drinkers. It soon became an extremely popular brand. In fact, it is still sold in Japan today as Akadama Sweet Wine.
But Torii was just getting started. With the success of his Akadama wine, he set his sights on introducing a domestic whisky suited to the Japanese palate. In 1924, he built the Yamazaki Distillery, the first malt whisky distillery in all of Japan. Five years later, Suntory Shirofuda (White Label) whisky was introduced. The Yamazaki Distillery is still up and running today, creating the world-renowned Japanese single malt whisky brand, Yamazaki.
Suntory has since created and distributed many new products. In 1936, Suntory opened a winery in Japan that now produces fine Japanese wine known as TOMI NO OKA. In 1963, we introduced Suntory beer. Ten years later, we began aging our first Hakushu whiskies from our distillery in the pristine Japanese Alps.
In the 1970s, we set forth to grow our soft drink business into one of our core pillars of Suntory Group and since then have introduced many brands that are still popular in Japan.
In 1983, we acquired Chateau Lagrange in Bordeaux, France and revived the vineyard's famous wines.
In 1989, leveraging the insights we acquired through our research of liquor and beverage products, Suntory entered into the flower business, followed by the wellness product business. Our sustained focus on R&D, including in healthcare, continues to fuel our wellness product business.
In the 1990s and 2000s, we set out to become one of the world's leading beverage companies by expanding our presence and offering around the world. We acquired the Frucor Group and Orangina Schweppes Group in 2009. Then in 2013, we established Lucozade Ribena Suntory Limited through our acquisition of the Lucozade and Ribena brands. A year later, Beam Inc. became a part of the Suntory family, resulting in Beam Suntory Inc., the world's third-largest premium spirits company.