Spirits more than wine turns the heads of the average Japanese drinker, making it the biggest market for imported spirits anywhere across the Asia-Pacific.
But Japan is also Asia Pacific’s second biggest importer of wine (2.7m h/l, worth €1.4bn in 2015, up 3.6% in volume and 4.2% in value) and the sixth biggest market worldwide for imported wine (Vinexpo/IWSR).
The overall spirits market is in 1% decline as older consumers cut down on drinking sake and sochu, the country’s two dominant spirits categories, for health reasons. Whisky saw a record 12% growth in 2015 (Euromonitor) and 21% increase in imports (Japan Ministry of Finance).
With minimal domestic wine production it means 70% of wine drunk in Japan is imported (Vinexpo/IWSR). But it remains a small market with only 3.5m h/l drunk compared to 31.8m h/l in the US and 17.3m h/l China (OIV).