US sake producer SoGood has launched its brand in export markets for the first time, arriving in the UK this month.

SoGood told Just Drinks it hoped to tap into the UK’s “strong cocktail culture” and “extensive [retailer] distribution networks”.

SoGood’s sake is produced by contract brewer and importer SakeOne in Oregon, using “traditional Japanese techniques”.

Its Junmai Daiginjo, with an RRP of £35.50 for 75cl ($45), is now available in off- and on-premise accounts in the UK including hotel group The Mondrian and Venus Wine and Spirits Merchants, and via e-retailers including The Whisky Exchange and Master Of Malt.

The company was co-founded by rice farmer Ken LaGrande, whose family owns several rice-based businesses in Sacramento, California. SoGood is made with Yamada Nishiki rice grown in Sacramento and spring water from Sierra Nevada.

SoGood aims to sell 800-1,000 nine-litre cases in its first year in the UK. It said the Sake One brewery was “capable of producing a wide range of batch sizes, accommodating both small and large quantities to meet varying demand”.

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It has plans to expand capacity in the long term, “based on the growing demand”, but would not divulge further information.

Asked about plans for export expansion into other markets, Luisa Halle’n, head of sales and marketing, said: “We are currently evaluating several potential markets for our next phase of expansion. However, our primary focus is strengthening our presence in the US and UK, as these markets have shown significant growth potential and a high demand for premium sake.”

In the US, SoGood is available D2C via its website and through Miami-headquartered distributor Park Street in the States of New Jersey, Florida and California.

Halle’n added SoGood aimed to tap into a “growing trend towards health and wellness” in the UK – its Junmai Daiginjo has an abv of 15.5%, making it a lower-abv alternative to spirits in cocktails.

“Increasing awareness of health and wellness is driving demand for healthier drink options, including low-calorie, low-sugar and organic beverages,” she said. “There is a growing market for premium and craft beverages, including carefully crafted beverages like sake.”

The LaGrande family moved to the Sacramento Valley in 1851 and its farm is now run by the fifth generation.

In 2010, Ken LaGrande formed wholesaler The LaGrande Family Food Group, which owns packaged-rice brands including Planet Rice, Valley Select and Gen Ji Mai.