Mutual Trading’s expo events in New York on September 24th and in Los Angeles on October 1st, attracted an unprecedented 130 Japanese food, alcoholic beverage, and restaurant supply business exhibitors, and nearly 4,200 professional industry guests, combined.
This annual expo is the largest and the longest running Japanese food trade show outside of Japan. Industry professionals gather year after year to interact with vendors face-to-face, to learn directly from the sources, and to find solutions to progress their business further. And Mutual Trading delivers, highlighting new trends and products to benefit the trade.
This year in Los Angeles, the liquor pavilion featured 32 Sake breweries, 6 Shochu distilleries, 7 Ji-Beer breweries and 2 Japanese wineries pouring over 200+ Sake, Shochu, Ji-Beer and wine. This year, industry trend was toward the premium, in fact beyond premium, toward super-luxury brands, and there was no shortage of products belonging to that category.
SUPER LUXURY SAKE
Hakkaisan Kongoshin Junmai Daiginjo, Yamadanishiki, SMV: 0 | Tatsuriki Junmai Daiginjo Jingu, Yamadanishiki, SMV: +1.0 | Katsuyama Junmai Daiginjo Akatsuki, Yamadanishiki, SMV: 0
Hakutake Zenkoji, Rice Shochu, White Koji, ALC: 24% | Sakura Shiranami, Sweet Potato Shochu, Yellow Koji, ALC: 24% | MOMOMO Peach, Rice White Koji, AL: 7%
Kyoto Kurano Kaori Ale, ALC: 5% | Kyoto Kuromame Ale, ALC: 5% | Kyoto White Yuzu Ale, ALC: 5% | Kyoto, Yamadanishiki Ale, ALC: 5%
YAMANASHI BREWED WINES
Chateau Mercian Ensemble Momoiro, Rosé, ALC: 12% | CH. Mercian Muscat Bailey A, Muscat Bailey A, ALC: 12% | Arugano Bosque, 100% Koshu, ALC: 12%
Seminars on World Sake Day
This year’s expo in Los Angeles coincided with WORLD SAKE DAY, an annual event on October 1st to pay tribute to Sake, worldwide. In celebrating this auspicious day were industry authorities and heavyweights. Jaymee Mandeville, one of top 10 mixologists in the nation, and Senior Portfolio Ambassador for Bacardi USA, demonstrated Shochu cocktails using 5 different Shochu, with ingredients typically available at Japanese restaurants, offering fresh new twists on customer service.
Bob Bath MS, professor of Wine & Beverage Studies at Culinary Institute of America, offered business owners tips in positioning Sake sales specifically focusing on the Millennials, an up and coming economic powerhouse, still a relatively untapped target group.
Antony Moss MS, Director of Strategic Planning at Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), presented the latest trends in Sake trends around the globe. He awed the audience by explaining Sake & food pairing do’s and don’ts through a chemical reaction approach in one’s taste buds, using an interactive food pairing/tasting experience with various flavor enhancing agents ( salt, MSG, lemon slice, sugar cookie ).
Closing the program was Takeyoshi Honda, Chairman of Honda Shouten, known to the Sake world as the one individual who put Ginjo Sake on the map 40 years ago, thus propelling the Sake industry info the modern era of boutique fine Sake. As the foremost expert on soil sciences, he explained the science behind why Yamadanishiki is the best Sakamai for brewing Sake.