The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Japan's growing market for Scotch whisky

The value of Scottish food and drink exports to Japan has surged to almost £100 million, strongly supported by the country’s growing taste for Scotch whisky, External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop said today.


Latest available export figures show the overall value of food and drink sales to Japan rose by 9% to a record £98.7 million in 2015, compared with £90.3 million in 2014 and £51.63 million in 2007.  Whisky exports account for 77% of the total, with seafood 16.71% of Scotland’s current food and drink exports to Japan. 

Ms Hyslop highlighted the quality and provenance of authentic Scottish produce during a visit to the first ever Scottish food and drink fair at the Isetan Shinjuku Store in Tokyo, which boasts the highest sales of any department store in Japan.

Ms Hyslop said: “Scotland has a fantastic larder of some of the world’s best natural produce, a flair for innovation and a longstanding reputation for producing top quality food and drink – so it is no surprise our food and drink industry is enjoying significant success in the Japanese market.

“A growing appetite in Japan for our whisky has supported a strong surge in the value of food and drinks exports to almost £100 million – the highest on record.

“We are committed to building on this success and strengthening relationships with major food distributors and retailers across Japan. I was delighted to help promote Scottish seafood at Japan’s most prestigious department store today, and look forward to working more closely with Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings and others like them in the future to ensure our produce enjoys continued success in the Japanese market.”

Mr Itazu Takashi, seafood buyer of Isetan Mitsukoshi, said: “We hope customers will enjoy the high quality of Scottish seafood through this promotion, and we hope the unique added value of Scotland produce such as the sustainability of seafood, will inspire them to try it.”

Background

Japan is Scotland’s 13th largest food and drink export market, worth £98.7m million in 2015, up 9% from 2014.

Scotch whisky exports increased by 18% to £75.849 million, making Japan Scotland’s 14th largest market for whisky.

Sources: Overseas Trade Statistics and Regional Trade Statistics

The store visit is part of a programme of activity delivered by Scottish Development International (SDI) and the Scottish Government.

The Cabinet Secretary’s programme of engagements runs from 13 to 17 February in both Tokyo and Nagasaki.

On Monday night, Ms Hyslop held a Business Reception at the British Embassy to promote Scotland as an ideal location for further Japanese investment.

On Tuesday, Ms Hyslop announced Scotland Day will be hosted by Toshima Ward, a cultural hotspot of Tokyo, with a promise venues for Scottish performers on an ongoing basis.

More will be announced throughout the coming week.


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