Great Success for the Salon du Sake 2017 15 October 2017 – Posted in: 2017 Press Release

The 4th “Salon du Sake – European Fair for Sake and Japanese beverages”- closed on October 9, 2017 on a highly positive note : more visitors; more professionals; and sake makers from Japan and elsewhere, reflecting the increasing interest in sake, the great Japanese beverage, shown by people both in Europe and outside Europe.

The ”Academie du Saké”(Sake Academy) and Mr. Sylvain Huet, the Salon du Sake organizers, are pleased to see that, beyond being very much in fashion, the ever growing fancy for sake in France and elsewhere in Europe is actually at the core of a fundamental trend. This is evidenced notably by the growth of imports of sake from Japan achieved last year, which reached a new record level. According to Japan’s Finance Ministry, in 2017, Japan’s exports of sake rose by 19% worldwide, 28% to Europe and 57% (an exceptionally high level) to France alone.


The 2017 Salon du Sake accommodated 4,091 visitors over the three days of the Salon (up 16.3% from the 2016 number), who showed up to find out some 350 “nihonshu”- the true name for sake- proposed for tasting, including a number of them that are not yet available in France and elsewhere in Europe, as well some 100 other Japanese beverages (whisky, “shochu”, beer, tea, and so on).


The number of professional visitors also increased substantially (up (20.7 % from the 2016 level); professionals flocked to the Salon to meet with producers and importers in a very conducive setting. This outcome is a testimony of a rapidly growing number of such professionals of gastronomy (restaurant owners, chefs and wine waiters (“sommeliers”) and of fine food and beverages (wine merchants (“cavistes”)), specialized delicatessen shops and so on), with more and more of them being seduced by the unique features of “nihonshu”.


One of the strong points of the Salon du Sake is its capacity to offer to visitors a fairly wide range of discovery and educational activities surrounding the sake through conferences, Master classes, tasting-workshops or round tables that are open to both the general public and the professionals. Jacques Genin, confectioner and chocolate maker, Kei Kobayashi, Two-Star Michelin recipient, among a number of other gastronomy masters, actively led these workshops focusing on food and sake pairing; each session was sold out early, evidencing true success.


Another novelty of the 2017 Salon du Sake: The “Kampai Pairings”, which are “fleeting” (very short-lived) flavor tasting experiment, were tried throughout the week-end, with the participation of local small craftsmen and makers in person. These experiments included the tasting of cheese, breads, cold meats and assorted cold meats, oysters, ice creams, confectionary, all of them being offered on tasting plates, and which were very much appreciated by visitors.


For the first time in 2017, the Salon du Sake awarded two prizes:
the General Public Prize and the Professionals Prize.
These prizes are rewarding those sakes, which scored the highest numbers of votes from the general public and from the professionals, respectively.


Some 60 Japanese sake producers/makers travelled personally from Japan to attend the 4th Salon du Sake, along with their best “nihonshu” (sake), not to mention that a number of sake from the United States, Norway and Spain, and for the first time from France, also came as exhibitors.

As Sylvain Huet, organizer of the “Salon du Sake – European Fair for Sake and Japanese beverages”, underlines:
“I am very pleased to find out that as we had been proceeding from one Salon to the next, the Salon du Sake in Paris has become an inescapable, if not a “must” event for meetings and networking among all the key players in the trade in Europe as well as in Japan.”