Japanese Whisky, Sake, RTDs Arrive at Breakthru Beverage Group

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Mar. 4, 2020

For years, industry insiders have been predicting sake and other Japanese beverages will enter the mainstream of our domestic consumer drinks preferences.

We’re now at the doorstep of this long-awaited arrival, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.

“In the last five years, imported sake has had an annual growth rate of 10 percent,” said Eric Swanson, Director of Sake and Japanese Spirits Development, Breakthru Beverage Group. “And in 10 years, sake consumption is on pace to triple in the United States.”

Swanson leads Breakthru’s new Yama Division, a team dedicated to bringing the finest Japanese beverages to our customers. It’s not just an insurgence of sake onto shelves and back bars—Japanese whisky, according to IWSR Data, enjoyed double-digit volume growth in 2019.

“Sake and whisky are growing with tremendous momentum,” Swanson said. “We have also built an impressive portfolio of ready-to-drink sakes that comes in a variety of portable packaging like cups, cans and boxes.”

The question some industry professionals and business owners have now is: how does this influx of Japanese beverages fit into today’s crowded adult beverage marketplace?

“Japanese beverages are so unique,” Swanson said. “They don’t take away business from other staples like bourbon or still wines. A customer who always enjoys chardonnay is still going to make that purchase. These drinks are an added value that consumers will add to their repertoire.”

To learn more about our lineup of Japanese beverages, courtesy of Breakthru’s Yama Division, talk to your Breakthru sales rep.