The annual sake market in the United States is approximately 13,500 KL. Gekkeikan holds an approximate 25% share of this market, having increased sales since 1995 by an average of 10% per year. Our sales volume has tripled since we first began to ship in 1991. Sake has become a common menu item in Japanese restaurants (approximately 8,000) and other Asian restaurants which have helped to spread its popularity. The demand for sake continues to grow and now, sake may be found in supermarkets and wine shops for enjoyment at home or purchase as a gift.
It is estimated, however, that only 30% of Americans have ever tasted sake, and that nationwide consumption is still only 1/200th that of wine. We provide opportunities for people to become familiar with sake in our tasting room. Periodically, special lectures and sushi making classes are also offered. Additionally, we are seeking to boost sake's appeal also through product diversification. In April 2005, new products “Junmai Nigori” sake and low-alcohol “Zipang” sparkling sake were launched.