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Local liquor scores well with consumers

Date Posted: 2005-09-26

A whopping 99% of the people in Japan have heard of awamori, Okinawa’s version of sake.

Equally important to the Okinawa Awamori Brewers Union is that 49% of those surveyed have actually tasted it. In fact, Japanese call it “the Rock”, meaning they like to drink it straight, on ice. The research was conducted in an internet survey during July, trying to determine exactly what Japanese thought of awamori. The study was commissioned by the Okinawa Prefecture Awamori Brewiers Union.

The questionnaire polled both men and women across the country. The union says it’s pleased with the results overall, but found some areas they want to make improvements. At the top of that list is creating a new style awamori cocktail targeted to ladies. They noted that women are less comfortable with awamori than men.

In the survey, 24% of respondents said awamori is well known, 56% said the know it, and 19% said they’d heard of it. Aside from Okinawans, residents of Kyushu and the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido lead the ranks of those claiming to know awamori well.

And how do they drink it? Better than half, 57.8% said they drink it on the rocks, 38.1% opted to drink awamori mixed with water. Only a quarter, 24.9%, said they drink awamori straight.

The awamori union says its beverage’s image is not too great, despite the majority of survey participants saying it was “delicious” or “had good fragrance.” Of concern were the responses that awamori was too strong, or that it smelled bad.

Awamori, according the survey, is the 8th most popular drink in Japan, with 11.6% saying they drink awamori somewhat regularly.

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