iichiko Planning To Go Mainstream; Invest In The U.S. Market

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World’s Leading Shochu Producer to Develop Key Markets and Target Cocktail Community

iichiko Shochu (http://www.iichiko.co.jp/en/), the top global producer of Japanese shochu, plans for a strong investment in the U.S. market in 2017. Iichiko’s primary focus is to develop mainstream American accounts and cocktail bars. iichiko aims to expand outside of traditional Japanese on and off-premise accounts, which are currently covered by Mutual Trading. iichiko was listed as #25 in the Millionaire's Club by Drinks International in 2015, which ranks the world's million case spirits brands, with over 8 million 9-liter cases sold.

Known as the spirit of Japan, iichiko’s shochu production starts with quality grains and pure spring water, which eventually results in a sugar-free and refreshing spirit. Similar to vodka, shochu can be distilled from a handful of raw materials, such as barley, buckwheat, rice and sweet potatoes. iichiko holds rank as Japan’s most popular 100% barley-based shochu.
“The cocktail culture is thriving in the U.S. and iichiko is prepared to prioritize expansion," said Tetsuro Miyazaki, North America Development Manager. "With most of our multi-billion dollar business in Japan, we see a real opportunity for iichiko to grow in the U.S."

iichiko has also hired New York-based Colangelo & Partners (C&P) to execute an integrated communications campaign. C&P will assist in importer and media relations and will also work with top mixologists around the country to create innovative cocktails to showcase the Japanese spirit as a versatile mixing ingredient.

"In addition to our alcoholic beverage expertise, Colangelo & Partners has always had an affinity for quality, Japanese products, and we look forward to bridging the gap between Japan and the US for iichiko," said Gino Colangelo, president of Colangelo & Partners. "iichiko will offer American bartenders a new space behind the bar with their spirit’s versatility and mixability.”

Currently the leading expression in the U.S., iichiko’s Silhouette dominates 70 percent of the brand’s sales in the nation. Also available in the US is iichiko Blu and iichiko Frasco.

About iichiko

Shochu is a Japanese distilled spirit produced from barley, sweet potato, rice or buckwheat depending on the region of origin. Iichiko’s shochu is 100% barley and the #1 barley shochu in Japan. Each iichiko shochu begins with only the highest quality barley and water drawn from natural springs deep beneath the earth. The flavors of iichiko’s shochu are refreshing and boast a crystal clear taste, truly embodying the essence of Japanese refinement.

The lush greenery, pure water and cool breezes of Oita Prefecture, famously known for their hot springs, provide the perfect setting to house the distillery where iichiko schochu is produced. It all begins with carefully selecting the finest natural ingredients and water. Advanced distilling technologies are then applied to produce the highest quality shochu. Since 1958, iichiko has prided itself on putting quality first, the way it’s always been done and will always continue to be done.

About Colangelo & Partners

Colangelo & Partners (http://www.colangelopr.com) specializes in premium food, wine, spirits and lifestyle brands, and has long established relationships with the key press that drive these business categories and help determine the industry leaders. Agency principals have years of experience in retail and distribution as well as communications, a rare combination that gives Colangelo & Partners invaluable insights into consumer purchasing behavior. The agency focuses on 'closing the loop' between creative communications programs, distribution, promotion, publicity and the consumer in order to maximize the efficiency of its communications programs and deliver measurable results.

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Colleen Dreyer

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