Zuisen Distillery to create joint brand with manufacturers in Kyushu

Zuisen Distillery to create joint brand with manufacturers in Kyushu

The joint brand products "Towane J-Chord" created by six breweries in Kyushu and Okinawa.

October 22, 2013 Fumitetsu Jahana of the Ryukyu Shimpo

In an attempt to target overseas markets, Zuisen Distillery Co., Ltd (Naha) and five breweries in Kyushu are developing a joint brand called “Towane J-Chord.” In addition to awamori, the breweries plan to produce a joint brand including quality labels of sake, barley and potato shochu, and liqueurs. The joint brand will help the products become popular with foreign consumers. Negotiations with major American retailers are progressing and they plan to sell the products from next year. Zuisen and other companies, including Ogashuzo (Fukuoka Prefecture), Kyoya Distiller & Brewer Co., Ltd (Miyazaki Prefecture), Chiyonosono Co. (Kumamoto Prefecture), Madonoume Co., Ltd (Saga Prefecture), Yatsushika Brewery Co., Ltd (Oita Prefecture), have created the Towane Group, which also serves as the brand name.

Tokyo-based marketing company Oval One Co., Ltd has coordinated this project. The breweries have spent three years preparing, including applying to relevant authorities in the United States.

They have classified the products according to the code of music. Shochu and sake have a classification code between 100 and 900, assigned by the ratio of the main raw material, such as polished rice. Zuisen Distillery plans to commercialize five-year-old liquor kusu as code 401 and awamori as 404. Plum wine with awamori as its base has now cleared the label examination and is on its way to being available for sale.

Zuisen has been exploring foreign market, including the United States, but at this stage customers are mostly Japanese food restaurants. Japanese people living there have been the ones ordering awamori, so expanding the market represents a challenge for the company.

Manabu Sakumoto, the president of Zuisen, said, “So much of our marketing depends on the Japanese network. By using the joint brand we would like to sell more Japanese liquor in a way that attracts local people in foreign countries.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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