It usually happens the other way around, but the success of KOYOMI Highball RTD cans – launched here in 2019 – has led Beam Suntory to release a KOYOMI Shochu spirit in Australia.
Shochu is the highest-selling spirit in Japan and more popular than sake. Beam Suntory Director of Innovation Kay Oh describes it as “Japan’s best kept secret”.
“We are thrilled to be extending the KOYOMI brand in Australia with the 700ml full bottle spirit format,” Oh said.
“KOYOMI Highball RTDs have been well received and loved by many consumers as a new go-to drink in premix format. They offer a perfect mix of uniquely Japanese flavours at 109 calories. The distinct, beautiful can design has also been a big draw factor.
“As the first brand to launch a Chu-Hi premix [Shochu Highball] in Australia, we always had our plan to launch a full bottle spirit format so that we could bring the unique Shochu experience to Australian consumers, as if we were transporting them to Japan. We wanted Australian consumers to enjoy this high quality Shochu any way they desire – as Chu-Hi, neat or on ice – in the same way they do in Japan.
“KOYOMI embodies both the sophistication and cutting edge of Japanese culture and we are confident the new format will be well-received in the Australian market. There is an ever-increasing consumer need for health and wellbeing, and lower alcohol drinks are on the rise, with the low- calorie and zero carbs factor a key selling point.
“Shochu is a versatile, easy-to-drink spirit and the fact that it is single distilled allows it to retain its pleasant flavour and aroma.”
KOYOMI is distilled from barley and designed to be enjoyed neat – warm or cold, on ice – or in cocktails. Oh describes as being “as versatile as vodka and as food-friendly as wine”.
“The most popular way of enjoying shochu is the CHU-HI, a refreshingly simple mix of KOYOMI Shochu, soda, ice and fresh fruit juice in a tall glass,” Oh said. “Adaptable to almost any taste, KOYOMI Shochu pairs seamlessly with lemon and grapefruit and even Japan’s hottest flavour, ume (plum).”
Oh describes the drink, which has a low ABV of 25%, as “very clean and refreshing”.
“The traditional Chu-Hi cocktail is a staple at Izakaya’s [bars] and at homes across the country and is now growing globally. It is also quickly gaining popularity in trend-setting cities such as New York and London, and is becoming an up and coming spirit in unique cocktails around the world.”
The KOYOMI label features a crane bird, which symbolises good fortune and longevity in Japan.
The launch of KOYOMI Shochu into the Australian market will include a refreshed website, housing shochu education and inspiration; and national off-premise brand activations to drive visibility and trial. An on-premise engagement program will also kick-off in contemporary Asian and fine dining restaurants and bars, with the aim of educating customers on how to enjoy KOYOMI Shochu with food, or simply how to order at the bar.
KOYOMI Shochu (700mL) is on shelves from June at leading liquor stores, priced at RRP $42-$47. It will also be available to enjoy at venues across Australia. Keep an eye out for it!
Categories: New releases