(Tohoku Region) Invitation of Experts to Promote Japanese Sake Overseas
In an effort to promote the overseas market development of Japanese sake produced in the Tohoku region (Fukushima Prefecture), IIST invited two experts to visit breweries there so as to deepen their understanding of the manufacturing process and help convey the attractions of Tohoku-produced sake. The experts gave advice on points to consider when exporting and assisted in the breweries' strategy formulation. A seminar on the theme of "The Overseas Market for Japanese Sake" was held for sake brewers and the general public to help understand the overseas market and foster a momentum toward the expansion of exports.
Dates: November 12-14, 2013
Organizers: Tohoku Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry; IIST
• Mr. Kei Miyagawa, Gerant, Galerie K Paris (sommelier and sake importer resident in France);
• Mr. John Gauntner, President, Sake World Inc. (resident in Japan; exporter of sake to the United States and "The Sake Evangelist")
Ninki Inc.; Homare Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.; Suehiro Sake Co., Ltd.; Miyaizumi Meijo Co., Ltd.
Shown around by the presidents of the breweries, the invited experts observed the manufacturing process, tasted samples, and engaged in discussions. Both experts opined that high-quality and distinctive types of sake should be selected for export. They also proposed that not only sake alone but a combination of sake and cooking (mariage) be offered, and they recommended the use of story lines in sales promotion, such as introduction of the brewery's history. In the seminar, it was pointed out that the growing popularity of Japanese food worldwide has created a good opportunity to sell Japanese sake as well, but for successful business talks it is necessary not only to explain the situation on the manufacturing side but also to provide information from the standpoint of local retailers selling sake overseas.
International Exchange Dept.