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Rice wine is a traditional alcoholic beverage in many parts of Asia and is prepared by fermenting the rice. There are different versions of rice wine and they are locally known by different names; for instance, sake in Japan, makgeolli in Korea, huangjiu in China, and others. The rice wine apart from being consumed directly has remained a crucial ingredient in various Asian culinary preparations, owing to its significant contribution in enhancing the flavour and texture of the food. The rice wine is also incorporated in various cocktail drinks to enhance the flavor and taste of the beverages. The demand for rice wine has grown in western countries due to the trade and globalization that has significantly aided in its growth in the global marketplace.
The alcohol content in rice wine as compared to wine derived from grapes or other fruits and beer is more. Furthermore, apart from its higher alcohol content, the rice wine possesses certain nutritional properties as well, such as essential amino acids, sugars, vitamins, and minerals. The trend of utilizing rice wine in beer, yogurt, and chocolate are growing rapidly to formulate a unique blend. For instance, In March 2020, Nestle Japan launched Yogurt Sake, the newest Japanese Kitkat. The new KitKats contain 0.5% alcohol and was formulated considering the transportation restrictions of rice wine at higher temperatures.
The rice wine is becoming increasingly popular in the western countries such as in the U.S. The shrinking rice wine market in Japan, China and Korea has led to an increase in its export rate, especially of premium grade to the countries where people like to pair their food with drink. The rice wine consumption has increased in recent times due to its extraordinary taste and consumers' inclination towards traditionally brewed drinks. The rice wine manufacturers from Japan are setting up their manufacturing units in the western countries in order to expand as well as make profit in this regions.
Key Market Driver -
Growing Popularity of Rice Wine in Western Regions
Key Market Restraint -
Presence of Fruit Derived Wine in Market
The availability of other wine variants such as red wine, rose wine and sparkling wine manufactured by processing grapes and other fruits is hampering the rice wine market. The stability of rice wine is hampered at or above 15°C temperature, restricting its storage and transportation feasibility. Thus, acting as a restraint its global market growth.
The key companies operating in the global rice wine market are, Kuaijishan Shaoxing Rice Wine Company, Takara Holdings Inc., Asahishuzo Co.Ltd, Kook Soon Dang Brewery Co., Ltd, Zhejiang Pagoda Brand Shaoxing Rice Wine Co., Ltd., Zhejiang Jiashan Yellow Rice Wine, YAEGAKI Corporation of USA, Hakkaisan, Ozeki Sake USA Inc., Blue Current Brewery, and Sun Masamune Pty Limited.
Sake is the leading variety of rice wine, owing to its growing popularity in western countries. The sake being rich in umami flavor, slightly sweet in taste, and high in acidity makes it the most desirable option for pairing it along with food. The makgeolli wine is also gaining traction among the consumers due to its lightly sweet, tangy, bitter, and astringent taste. Makgeolli is widely being consumed by the U.S. population due to the growing popularity of Korean food in the country.
The hypermarkets and supermarkets are the leading purchasing channels and majorly responsible for the sales growth of rice wine. Such mass merchandisers offer a wide range of rice wine in different brands and prices. Further, they also provide enhanced convenience, attractive schemes, bundling offers, and convenient shopping experience to the buyers under the single roof along with all the home groceries.
Asia Pacific is one of the leading markets of rice wine due to the presence of major global producers of rice wine in the region. Japan, China, and Korea are the major producers and consumers of rice wine. The region offers significant potential due to its large consumer base and favorable climatic conditions for rice wine brewing, especially in Japan and China.
Europe is anticipated to witness rapid growth in the upcoming years, attributed to the increasing demand for rice wine across countries such as U.K., Germany, France, and others. The increasing popularity of rice wine among the consumers and its growing availability at various restaurants and specialty stores is a major growth propelling factor for Europe rice wine market.
North America is expected to witness significant growth in the forthcoming years, owing to the consumers evolving taste preferences. The growing inclination of the consumers towards traditionally styled drinks along with the presence of many Japanese and Korean restaurants in the region is aiding in the market expansion of rice wine. The presence of an organized distribution channel of rice wine across the countries in North America is also a key factor, fuelling its regional market growth.
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