UK TRADE BODY ON THE ROAD IN TOKYO TO PROMOTE GIN AND WINE
By Susan Lewis
The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) of UK led a trade mission to Tokyo last week to showcase British gins and fine wines with a view to boost exports.
Lasted for three days, this was the WSTA’s second trade mission to Japan in two years, with Tokyo a priority destination as one of the fastest growing markets for UK food and drink exports.
The British Embassy in Tokyo welcomed winemakers and distillers from the UK on day one for a briefing on the Japanese alcohol market. The second day saw the Embassy open its doors to a “Meet the Buyer” tasting event with invited guests.
On the final day, prestige British car maker Aston Martin hosted at its offices wine and then gin tastings for sommeliers and mixologists.
Four English sparkling wines and products from ten gin distilleries were showcased in the tastings to a full range of buyers, importers, journalists and influencers.
In 2017, UK exported £530 million worth of Gin, of which £32 million was exported to Asia and Oceania, with over £7 million went to Japan.
Wine, meanwhile, saw exports total £550 million from the UK in 2017, including over £250 million to Asia and Oceania of which £9 million worth was exported to Japan.
Chief Executive of WSTA, Miles Beale, said: “British gin has grown into a global phenomenon and in 2018 we saw sales, both home and abroad, break the £2 billion mark – doubling in value in five years. More and more nations are clamouring for the sought-after spirit with more than 150 countries now importing British gin, making us the world’s leading gin exporter.
“We have been proud to share these products and, as we continue to campaign for our government to seal the right Brexit deal, we look forward to greater support to increase British gin and English wine exports to developed markets such as Australia, Japan, China and the USA.”
(the writer can be contacted at: SusanLewis@thewinechronicle.com)