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Sapporo Breweries Initiatives

Aiming for quality in development, design and manufacturing

Each department related to product development and design has acquired ISO9001 certification for international standards of quality management systems. Furthermore, supporting departments, such as the Quality Assurance Department at the head office, ascertain legal compliance on factors such as product display to support quality assurance in design and development departments.
Additionally, eight core manufacturing factories*1 have acquired and implemented the international standard for food safety management systems FSSC22000*2, as part of unceasing efforts to further improve product safety.

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* Eight major factories: Hokkaido Brewery , Sendai Brewery , Nasu Brewery , Gunma Plant (Ojima), Chiba Brewery , Shizuoka Brewery , Kyushu-Hita Brewery, Okayama winery

** FSSC22000: The acronym for Food Safety System Certification 22000, which is a food safety management system standard targeting food manufacturing organizations. This certification is approved as one food safety certification scheme under the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). It also incorporates HACCP principles.

Factories and headquarters come together for quality assurance

Sapporo Breweries conduct regular meetings at Headquarters for departments related to quality assurance, product planning, research and development for content and packaging, and manufacturing management. In these meetings, various information such as quality issue customer feedback and other consumer opinions are swiftly and comprehensively analyzed. The information extracted from this is reflected in the product development and factory manufacturing processes. At the same time, factory managers organize regular “quality meetings” at their factories, in which discussions are made from a customer perspective towards issues in quality improvement, along with the “mutual factory diagnosis” held across technological departments. Diagnosis is conducted by selected staff from various departments. This diagnosis staff identifies issues on-location at other factories and conducts active discussions with factory members. Enhancement of technological levels that support the foundation of “deliciousness” and “quality assurance”, human resource training, and also continued invigoration of organizations can also be anticipated from these initiatives.

Quality management for barrel draft products

Sapporo Breweries Draft Beer Quality Centers and Maintenance Centers are located throughout Japan, making efforts toward quality management and awareness-raising on barrel products for restaurant clients who use Sapporo barrel products. Along with our restaurant clients, the Centers strive for “safe and secure” barrel products to “provide impressive barrel product quality” through technological guidance and maintenance of draft beer servers, equipment and container-related factors.

Maintenance of draft beer servers

The original barrel draft beer quality management system for Sapporo Breweries, the “SAPPORO SEPARE System” incorporates patented technology and Sapporo know-how to separate barrel draft beer server coolers from beer circuits (tubes in which beer flows, such as beer hoses), which were conventionally inseparable, for better maintainability. The beer circuits are changed regularly and thoroughly cleaned at special maintenance centers. The SEPARE Center’s beer circuit washing machines are responsible for cleaning approximately 80 percent of beer circuits from all over Japan. Developed in-house, these machines control washing temperatures, times, rinsing, and drying in a fully automated manner. It operates from early morning to clean 700 to 800 circuits every day. Microorganisms remaining on the washed beer circuits are close to “zero”, making it a “zero reset” for the circuits.

The SEPARE server maintenance center and rows of automatic washing machines

The SEPARE server maintenance center and rows of automatic washing machines

Beer circuits that have been used for a certain period of time are collected and washed within the company’s special facilities. The beer circuits themselves are washed at Sapporo’s original automated washing machine, and fine parts are disassembled before going under ultrasonic cleaning for a thorough wash, to become good as new.

The evolving “SAPPORO SEPARE System”
--Confirmation of waste-suppressing effects at the LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) --

SAPPORO SEPARE System

In 2011, the “SAPPORO SEPARE System” evolved into the “New SEPARE System” by incorporating industry-first components. This attained a “technological revolution” that reduces the amount of impurities within the beer circuits as much as possible. Components include beer hoses manufactured from extremely water-resistant material for more effective cleaning, beer hose joints to reduce the pooling of beer as much as possible, and metal heads. The beer circuits are kept clean longer, resulting in improvement in the quality of draft beer provided. Furthermore, the construction of separate beer lines and cooler components which could be disassembled and replaced, realized longer use life for the items as well. It has also been verified through the LCA method that this system has decreased the impact on the environment, due to the suppression of waste materials when compared to conventional servers. Thanks to this feat, the system has been awarded the 8th Eco-products Award for Excellence.

Quality assurance for contract-manufactured products and imported products

In order to maintain and enhance the quality of products whose manufacture is outsourced, Sapporo Breweries technicians conduct inspections at intervals prescribed by designated evaluation criteria.
With regard to imported wines, the Wine & Spirits Department and related departments assure quality by analyzing values and checking manufacturing methods for each imported lot, and only then conducting acceptance inspections.
Visitations to client wineries are also conducted when necessary, as part of efforts to strengthen quality management systems.

Quality management during transportation

To prevent quality degeneration of beer during its transport, the three factors of (1) optimal temperature management, (2) protection from direct sunlight, and (3) preventing vibrations as much as possible are very important. Sapporo Breweries use the “Sapporo Quality Sheet” during truck transportation, to shut out direct sunlight and high temperatures. Furthermore, the “Sapporo Quality Sheet/Freeze Guard” has been developed to prevent freezing during transport within cold areas, focusing on quality during transport in sub-zero climates.

Logistics quality improvement

SAPPORO LOGISTICS SYSTEMS conduct “Safety CS Rallies” twice a year in spring and fall, in its efforts for “zero accidents” and “zero complaints”, to improve transportation, warehouse work and logistics paperwork task quality. These activities are targeted not only at SAPPORO LOGISTICS SYSTEMS employees, but also at employees of logistics partners and other partner companies. They seek both to improve awareness of the importance of safety and CS, and to further improve logistics quality. The company also makes efforts to ensure workplace safety, with each branch holding an annual forklift driving skills contest. The contest aims to improve the techniques and related knowledge of all employees who handle freight.

POKKA SAPPORO Food & Beverages Initiatives

Quality initiatives

POKKA SAPPORO Food & Beverages has constructed a system that evaluates and eliminates risks in each process related to raw materials, product development, manufacturing and distribution, in its mission to be a trusted company that provides products and services that satisfy customers. Furthermore, all customer feedback and opinions are taken seriously as a fundamental policy and are shared within the company to boost quality.

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The PDCA cycle for customer satisfaction

The PDCA cycle for customer satisfaction
The PDCA cycle for customer satisfaction

Quality assurance for products produced through manufacturing agreements/imported products

Collaboration with overseas manufacturers

Collaboration with overseas manufacturers

POKKA SAPPORO and GEROLSTEINER have closely collaborated for the import and sales of the German sparkling water “GEROLSTEINER”. In 2010, the companies entered a “Quality Manual” contract which combines the excellent know-how of product quality from both countries, in an attempt to standardize processes. Furthermore, great care is taken during transport as well, such as checks for used containers, instrument monitoring at sea, and reinforcements of inspections after import to stabilize product quality during transport.

Industry-first sterilization technology improves lemon product quality

Industry-first sterilization technology improves lemon product quality

The production line for “Pokka Lemon 100” at the POKKA SAPOPRO Nagoya Factory No.3 has incorporated the industry-first “AC electric field sterilization method*”to produce products with higher quality than that of conventional heating sterilization methods.

*AC electric field sterilization method: A technology that offers quick and efficient sterilization by transmitting electricity in foods

Labeling initiatives

Labeling initiatives

As part of its measures to support customers with food allergies, POKKA SAPPORO labels not only the mandatory seven specified ingredients but also the 21 items equivalent to specified ingredients for which labeling is recommended but not mandatory.
For products containing a large number of ingredients, particularly powdered soups, a table is provided on the packaging so that customers can better and more easily understand allergy-related information.

Labeling initiatives

Additionally, we will continue to make efforts in labeling practices for safety in products that do not contain allergens as well. One example is products with honey, in which we provide labeling with information that honey is not to be given to infants under one year old.

Sapporo Lion Initiatives

Sapporo Lion believes it is its duty and responsibility to offer safe and secure products to customers as a company that provides food. With this, thorough quality and sanitary control is implemented in all aspects from food material procurement to cooking/serving at restaurants, in efforts to ensure the customers’ peace of mind at our restaurants.

Food material quality assurance

Preparation and handling of unforeseen circumstances

In the event issues or concerns stemming from the produce area of food materials, the quality management department of our suppliers will cooperate for swift information disclosure and in-house communication to change produce areas for procurement. Furthermore, efforts are being made to provide safe food materials by collecting information, with a focus on press releases from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. We have prepared multiple procurement systems for our major products, ensuring product delivery to customers, even in the event of an emergency.

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Continuous initiatives to provide the most delicious draft beer in Japan

Continuous initiatives to provide the most delicious draft beer in Japan
Posters within the facilities

Sapporo Lion makes daily efforts towards its slogan of “Providing the most delicious draft beer in Japan”, as the forerunner of beerhalls in the country. As one part of this initiative, Sapporo Lion conducts lectures to educate employees on topics related to beer, such as “Draft Beer Training” for employees including part-time staff taught by equipment managers and seasoned counter managers with the Sapporo certification of “Lion Beer Meister”, along with guidance on the traditional “Ginza Lion” beerhall way of serving beer, the “pouring in one action” technique. Furthermore, all stores implement annual beer hose replacement and chemical cleaning of beer lines for cooler servers once a year, and concentrate on daily sanitation control, along with washing beer server equipment and glasses.
What’s more, the restaurants put full efforts in their temperature control so that customers can enjoy delicious draft beer at its optimal state. Draft beer is maintained at 2 to 3 degrees Celsius when served. These activities are displayed on posters within the facilities, to inform the customers as well.

Sanitation control in stores

Sapporo Lion conducts one or more sanitation inspections annually at all restaurants so that customers can enjoy their meals with peace of mind. Sanitation advisors from the company travel to each restaurant and evaluate the sanitation control status based on approximately 130 check points on the food sanitation check list. Inspection on document management necessary for sanitation control is also conducted, including checks on food sanitation control ledgers at each restaurant. The food sanitation check list is revised and updated for further sanitation management. Additionally, random microorganism testing is conducted on food and equipment to verify quality and ensure safe and secure food is being provided. Any items discovered needing improvement with these sanitation inspections or microorganism testing, will result in requests to the facility to present an improvement report, which will be inspected to see whether improvements have actually been made.

Employee sanitation management training and system establishment

Reinforcing awareness of sanitation management

It is important to heighten the awareness of sanitation management in each employee when implementing thorough sanitation management. For this reason, a “Sanitation Management manual”, a pamphlet that contains basic rules on sanitation management, is distributed to all restaurants. There are also English and Chinese movie versions of the sanitation management manual, to support the many foreign staff members in charge of cooking. We have been attempting to ensure a high level of sanitary awareness throughout the staff, regardless of whether it is part-time, full-time, serving staff or cooking staff, with these pamphlets and movies.
Furthermore, efforts toward individual education are also being made, which include regular fecal examinations, daily health checks, individual e-learning, lectures on sanitation and information related to food sanitation.

Space creation to provide joy

Under the principle of providing the “JOY OF LIVING” through eating and drinking, efforts are made to create a comfortable space with chairs, tables, air conditioning, ventilation, and restaurant designs which eliminate differences in levels for customers in wheelchairs, so that customers can enjoy their meal with peace of mind. What’s more, as awareness on prevention of passive smoking has heightened with the Health Promotion Act, new restaurants and renovated restaurants have been implementing non-smoking rules or complete separation of smoking and non-smoking areas, along with existing restaurants following suit in municipalities with the antismoking ordinance in effect. The main “The Beer Hall Lion Ginza on 7-Chome” has also installed a smoking room and designated all other areas as non-smoking. We will continue to make efforts towards this major challenge of separating smoking and non-smoking areas.

  • The smoking room at Beer Hall Lion Sotetsu Branch
    The smoking room at Beer Hall Lion Sotetsu Branch
  • The smoking room at The Beer Hall Lion Ginza on 7-Chome
    The smoking room at The Beer Hall Lion Ginza on 7-Chome
  • Kouyouen accessible restroom
    Kouyouen accessible restroom

Sapporo Real Estate Initiatives

Creation of safe and secure facility spaces

In addition to compliance with various laws and regulations, the real estate operation also develops safe and comfortable facilities and spaces. Sapporo Real Estate strives to create safe and comfortable facilities under their management philosophy of “Offering a ‘Luxurious Time’ in a ‘Luxurious Space’ for Cities and Society as a Whole”.

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Ongoing “Yebisu Garden Place” initiatives

  • - Implementation of cleaning inspections
  • - Establishment of cooperative systems with related organizations (police, fire departments, JR, neighbors, etc.)
  • - Ongoing crime prevention patrol and training
  • - Inspection and confirmation of fire prevention of kitchens, etc. within restaurant tenants

Ongoing “Sapporo Factory” initiatives

  • - Walkthrough inspection of cleaning and facilities from a customer perspective (monthly)
  • - Establishment of cooperative systems with related organizations (police, fire departments, neighbors, etc.)
  • - Ongoing crime prevention patrol and training
  • - Inspection and confirmation of fire prevention system within restaurant tenants
  • - Food sanitation lectures conducted by Sapporo Health Center staff for restaurant tenants

Offering comfortable spaces

YEBISU GARDEN PLACE

The Yebisu Garden Place was designed and is managed under the concept of “creation of a space which people who work, play or live in spend a luxurious time”. Furthermore, the “Yebisu Skywalk”, the moving sidewalk that connects the Yebisu Station with the Yebisu Garden Place, features braille blocks.

SAPPORO FACTORY

SAPPORO FACTORY

Ever since the Sapporo Factory opened in 1993 as a large-scaled commercial complex featuring approximately 160 shopping, restaurants and amusement facilities, botanical displays are located throughout the facility and outside of the landmark, to create pleasant spaces for customers. Additionally, universal design has been incorporated into various fixtures such as handrails for stairs, sequentially making improvements in the facility environment with consideration towards safety for a diverse range of customers.

Preparation for unforeseen disasters

Both the “Yebisu Garden Place” and “Sapporo Factory” are prepared for unforeseen disasters, with disaster prevention systems and earthquake countermeasures in place.

Status of existing disaster prevention measures
YEBISU GARDEN PLACE

YEBISU GARDEN PLACE
Fire drill at the “Yebisu Garden Place”
  • - Manuals corresponding to various disasters
  • - In-house firefighting training conducted (twice annually) with a focus on tenant firefighting squads
  • - Standard lifesaving training conducted (twice annually)
  • - Rescue training for elevator baskets (as necessary)
  • - Educational training on tenant fire prevention/fire prevention managers, etc.

SAPPORO FACTORY

SAPPORO FACTORY
Fire drill at the “Sapporo Factory”
  • - Creation of BCP (business continuity planning) according to disaster
  • - Fire drills focused on in-house firefighting squads (twice annually)
  • - Participation in first aid training (as necessary)
  • - Standard lifesaving training conducted
  • - Rescue training for elevator baskets (as necessary)
  • - Raising handrails, renovation of areas with hazards such as falling snow, etc.

For further customer satisfaction

Operation of customer support desks

Sapporo Breweries

Sapporo Breweries develops its business operations under the corporate philosophy of a “rich and rewarding lifestyle for our customers”, aiming to be a company that is trusted by customers and can offer new ways of enriching lives and enjoyment. Therefore, to further promote customer-oriented management, we have declared our “Independent Consumer-Oriented Statement”.
Furthermore, initiatives to apply “customer opinions” into business activities through constructing management systems for customer correspondence based on “ISO 10002/JIS Q 10002” certifications are also being promoted.

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POKKA SAPPORO Food & Beverage/Sapporo Lion

"Customer support desks" are provided at each company to apply customer feedback as valuable management information. The collected customer feedback will be discussed at related departments towards new product development and improvement of products and services.

SAPPORO REAL ESTATE

SAPPORO REAL ESTATE has installed survey boxes to collect customer feedback, and also has arranged information desks and telephone lines to directly correspond to customer inquiries at the “Yebisu Garden Place” and “Sapporo Factory” facilities.
Furthermore, initiatives for swifter service are being taken at the “Sapporo Factory”—it is open to inquiries and requests at any time of day through e-mail from the webpage or by telephone.

Incorporating customer feedback

Sapporo Breweries

Example 1
Conventionally, for domestic wines, white wines had only labeled dryness/sweetness values, and red wines only labelled their roughness. However, thanks to the many inquiries from customers, the labels now feature dryness/sweetness/acidity for white wines, and dryness/sweetness/roughness for red wines.

Example 1

Example 2
The conventional cap for the paper carton Umenochikara series used to feature an inner pull-ring plug that needed to be pulled out after opening the cap, which required double the effort when opening the product.
Additionally, the pull-ring required a moderate level of power to pull off, which made it difficult for seniors and female customers, and there was also feedback from customers stating that the product content would splash when the pull-ring was pulled off.
Of the four major breweries, Sapporo Breweries became the first to incorporate a new cap that opened the inner plug just by screwing off the outer cap.
This resolved the difficulty in using the former cap, and was also more sanitary, as the inner plug was now able to be removed without being touched.
Additionally, eradicating the pull-ring has also resulted in less waste.
Sapporo Breweries will continue its packaging initiatives to create more convenient products for our customers.

Example 2

Sharing Customer Feedback

Customer satisfaction investigation with mystery shoppers

With the aim of improving customer satisfaction, Sapporo Lion annually conducts two “mystery shopper investigations” since 2006.
“Mystery shopper investigations” is a market research method in which undercover evaluators visit stores and evaluate/assesse daily customer service from a “customer perspective”.
Evaluator reports feature comments and points per element. Usually, restaurants visited by mystery shoppers have their reports uploaded online approximately one week after the visit. These reports are visible from the target restaurant and other restaurants as well, resulting in more factors identified from a “customer perspective”, leading to improvement.

Sharing “Emotional Information”

Sapporo Lion collects “Emotional Information” such as employee experiences and words of gratitude from customers, to boost customer satisfaction and also to share the joy and pride of working at the company between employees, as an initiative to improve moral.

Information disclosure to customers

The Sapporo Group offers information on products and services to customers through the internet. Sapporo Breweries has a “Customer Support Desk” within its webpage, along with frequently asked questions from customers and corresponding answers. The published content is updated as necessary, in the company’s efforts to always provide new information.
The Sapporo Lion webpage offers information on restaurants according to area, business category, intent of use, and offered beer type. The website supports the customers’ search for the perfect restaurant by offering various methods of searching.

Product development with customer health in mind

Product development with customer health in mind

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has designated the recommended amount of daily sodium intake within the dietary reference intake for Japanese people. It is said that Japanese citizens tend to intake more sodium than is recommended in this standard.
Along with introducing tips on how to reduce the amount of sodium eaten in a tasty way by including lemons in one’s diet, POKKA SAPPORO has released the low-sodium “Lemon no Okage Ureshio” as a part of its activities to raise awareness toward sodium reduction.
“Lemon no Okage Ureshio” does not modify its reduced-salt taste by adding potassium chloride, but uses the acidity of lemons for sodium reduction, enabling customers who are watching their potassium intake to use the product like conventional salt.

*There is a miniscule amount of potassium e in “Lemon no Okage Ureshio” from the raw materials used (36.0mg per 100g)

TOPICS
TOPICS

POKKA LEMON and Ureshio have been exhibited in the “Let’s reduce sodium! Corner”, as part of our participation in the “Ninohe Health Festival” to work towards the social issue of “longer healthy life expectancy”, which is an initiative of the Ninohe City, Iwate Prefecture.

Reference: Ninohe 21 Plans for Health (Japanese)
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