Hakutsuru Saké Brewery Co., Ltd. announced today that SakéOne Corporation of Forest Grove, Oregon has been appointed the exclusive importer for all its saké and related products in the United States. SakéOne's role as Hakutsuru importer will commence on July 1, 2014.
President Kenji Kano says, "Hakutsuru developed a strategic alliance with SakéOne in 2010 when it acquired a significant equity interest in the Oregon-based saké company. SakéOne has demonstrated a strong leadership position in the premium U.S. saké market, and affords Hakutsuru a new saké ‘category specific’ sales approach moving forward."
The Kobe, Japan based company is the world’s largest saké brewer and is America’s top selling imported saké. Founded in 1743, Hakutsuru is also Japan’s top selling saké and is exported to 45 countries.
Steve Vuylsteke, President and CEO for SakéOne notes, “The addition of Hakutsuru to our growing portfolio of Oregon craft saké and fine imported Japanese saké begins an exciting new chapter for SakéOne. In business since 1743, they produce outstanding quality products at unmatched value in the saké category and we look forward to expanding their presence and leadership position in the premium U.S. saké market.”
The premium saké category in the US market has been growing at 2.5 times the rate of the value saké segment. (Premium saké defined as 750ml equivalent bottles selling for $10 retail or greater.) When combined, the saké portfolios of Hakutsuru and SakéOne currently hold 50% of the premium saké market share of U.S. Grocery chains (Nielsen 52 week, September 14, 2013).
Hakutsuru President Kano stated, “Hakutsuru reached a mutual agreement with our former agent Dreyfus Ashby to move the U.S. distribution to a new importer. “I would like to thank the Dreyfus Ashby Company for the long-standing relationship and sales efforts in the United States. We look forward to the next chapter of our evolution with the team at SakéOne.”