Bannistar developed Asahi-Shuzo Sake Brewing’s new brand “Tsugu” (succession).
Tsugu is of the highest grade of sake, and used 100% Koshi-tanrei rice from Niigata Prefecture. The rice is supremely polished to reduce the amount of protein to the minimum possible. It uses original yeast that was specially selected through the world’s first yeast breeding process. The prestigious Japanese sake brand has made new sake brewing challenges never seen before, such as final process technological innovations leading to pressing, heating and cooling for the best moment to get unpasteurized sake, which was an unknown area.
Regaining an essential identity
Sake-making was once synonymous with local production for local consumption agribusinesses, being made locally and consumed locally. However, now the distribution network has developed, and it is a category that is made in various locations throughout Japan and loved all over the world. In the process, more sake is made from non-local brewer’s rice and the number of brewers that once created an original uniqueness is on the decline.
On the other hand, the consumption of sake is growing rapidly worldwide with the increasing popularity of Japanese cuisine. Nevertheless, the flavor of sake now tends to be judged merely from the singular aspects of the rice polishing ratio rice rate and type of yeast, moving away from the original essence of sake. Development of high added value In addition, the fact that there were far fewer high value-added products than in the wine market was also a problem. Aged sake comes with the added value of being vintage, but that’s not the case for unpasteurized sake with no products with high added value.
Bannistar participated from the initial stage in the development of Tsugu. For about two and a half years with the project members who went to Niigata’s Koshiji, we started from the product development of Tsugu, and did everything from research planning to naming development, package design development and communication strategy development including on the internet.
For Tsugu, it was not just a competition based on existing specifications. We reviewed all processes from rice making to sake making, focusing on unknown and still unclear processes, and aimed for the best sake making with the ultimate technology.
In naming it Tsugu, it represents all of the techniques for ultimate sake brewing being “passed on”. And, we have filled it with the hope that the special time that surrounds this ultimate sake will be “passed on" in the hearts of everyone drinking it.
In the package design, we adopted straight lines that feel like they continue forever and unique labels with a sense of extravagance. We aimed to express its fruity yet profound taste and illusion-like aftertaste with the design.