Sake brewers making a play for UK market share

05 October, 2007

Retailers should promote sak es as food matches to cash in on the drink 's growing popularity,

say Japanese brewers.

Speaking at

the

second

annual Sak e Fair, organised by the Japan Sake Brewers Association and the British Sake Association , Midori Nakazawa from Tochigi-based Tentaka Shuzo said: "Sake is very versatile and goes well with foods that don't naturally suit wine. People are always looking for something new and interesting, that's why the UK is starting to look to sake."

A spokesman from Nakajima Jozo added: "Sake can be enjoyed neat but its acidity suits oily foods, and the key to selling it is pushing its match to food."

Consumer understanding of regionality can be used to boost UK

sales,

said Philip Harper, the first non-Japanese master

sake brewer. "Sake from the

northern and older parts of Japan is lighter and crisper than the earthy

sakes from the hotter areas of

western Japan," he said.

Widening the scope of sake

by pairing it with non-Japanese food is a key aim of the BSA, which was set up to promote understanding and enjoyment of the

drink.

Shirley Booth, president of the BSA, sees the UK as a strong export market . "I think

sake, like Japanese food, although ro oted in the past, is the taste of the future," she said.

This year's International Wine Challenge entries

proved how

sake producers are eyeing up sales opportunities in new export markets

such as the UK, There were 228

entries in the sake class, compared with only two the previous year.




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