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Japanese restaurant boom behind saké surge - report

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Japan's saké exports jumped 10% last year as the international appeal of Japanese cuisine continued to grow, according to a report.

The number of Japanese restaurants outside of Japan stands at almost 90,000

The number of Japanese restaurants outside of Japan stands at almost 90,000

The export value of the rice wine surged to a record JPY15.5bn in 2016, the seventh-straight annual increase in a row, Nikkei reported yesterday. The growing popularity of Japanese restaurants was behind the increase, the report said, as consumers drink saké alongside dishes such as sushi and teppanyaki.

According to the report, there were almost 90,000 Japanese restaurants outside of Japan as of the end of 2015.

Saké exports proved more buoyant last year than beer demand inside Japan. Domestic beer volumes in the country fell by 3% in 2016, according to a report last month. All five major brewers saw their annual beer and quasi-beer shipments fall, the report said, citing figures from Asahi, Suntory, Kirin, Sapporo and Orion Breweries.

The Japanese beer market is dominated by the five main brewers, with independent and craft beer lagging a long way behind. According to the report, Asahi had a 39% share of the market last year, followed by Kirin at 32.4%, Suntory at 15.7%, Sapporo at 12%, and Orion at 1%.


Sectors: Wine

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