Sake Exports Hit Record High Volume and Value
According to the Japan Sake & Shochu Makers Association, 2018 turned out to be a fantastic year for sake exports in both volume and value, indicating that consumers overseas are increasingly interested in high-end brands.
Last year saw 25,746,831 liters (6.8M gallons) of sake shipped to foreign markets. That’s a ten percent increase over 2017, adding to steady growth over the past nine years.
The annual value of exported sake enjoyed an especially impressive spike last year, rising 19% from the year before to 22,231,507,000 yen (US$200M). This is even higher than the growth of years prior to 2017 and marks the first time overseas sales of sake have ever crossed the 22-billion-yen threshold. It’s also an astonishing 300% improvement from the 7.2 billion yen ($64M) exported in 2009.
The USA is the largest importer in terms of both sheer volume and monetary value, but Hong Kong spends the most by volume at 1,800 yen ($16) per liter compared to the US’ second-place spending of 1,061 yen ($9.50) per liter. China, South Korea, and Taiwan are also very strong markets for sake.
The outlook for further growth, particularly for high-priced sake, is reportedly optimistic. Here’s to further sake growth abroad!
Multilingual Site KIKIZAKE WEB Hopes to Expand Global Sake Knowledge
Sakura Sake Store in Ogaki City, Gifu Prefecture, launched a new website on January 8. Called KIKIZAKE WEB, the site strives to be a one-stop sake information and ordering hub and is available in English, Chinese, French, and Japanese.
Visitors to KIKIZAKE WEB can learn about the many small breweries all across Japan with the site’s video walkthroughs. It also explains the various brands of sake by comparing their flavors with those of different wines and additionally suggests food pairings.
With sake growing overseas, Sakura says it hopes to keep international sake drinkers informed and help them avoid purchasing low quality sake with KIKIZAKE WEB.
Sacred Sake Offered to Visitors at Monaco’s Japan Week 2019
The Mediterranean city-state of Monaco is holding a special Japan Week festival at their famed Le Marche de la Condamine marketplace. Featuring all sorts of cuisine, this open-air food court will highlight Japanese dishes, ingredients, snacks, and drinks for three days.
The event runs March 7 – 9, but the first day presents a rare chance to try some very special sake next to Marche de la Condamine’s premier sushi restaurant, MC by Kodera. Here a special booth plans to give out samples of Hyogo-based Hakutaka brewery’s titular flagship sake.
Hakutaka has the special distinction of being the Jingu Goryo Sake for one of the Shinto religion’s largest and oldest places of worship, Ise Shrine, in Mie Prefecture. For approximately 1,500 years, people have presented daily offerings of food and drink to the gods the shrine celebrates. Not just any drink will do for such a heady offering, though, and Hakutaka is one of few to enjoy the honor of the shrine’s official seal of approval.
Needless to say, Hakutaka is a wonderful example of Japan’s finest sake and, for one day only, drinkers can get their hands on it a world away in Monaco.
- Name: Monaco Japan Week 2019
- Date: Thursday, Mar 7th to Saturday, Mar 9th
- Hakuta Sake Tasting: Thursday Mar. 7th
- Hakuta Sake Tasting Location: Marché de la Condamine, Place d’Armes, 98000 Monaco
- Hakuta Sake Tasting Hours: 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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