Bannistar worked on the new brand “TSUGU” for Asahi-Shuzo.
“TSUGU” is a Junmai Daiginjo Sake using 100% Niigata Koshitanrei rice. A refined sake with minimal protein. Original sake yeast from the world’s first yeast breeding method. It is a prestigious sake brand that has experimented with new forms of sake brewing that had never been done before, such as technological innovations in the usage of upper tanks, heating, and cooling to preserve raw sake at its best moment.
Regaining essential uniqueness
Sake brewing used to be a perfect model of “local production for local consumption” agribusiness. However, distribution networks have developed, and sake is now brewed in various places across Japan and loved globally. Because of these changes, many breweries have begun using sake rice that is not local, and the number of sake breweries that are preserving the essential unique process of local production is declining.
On the other hand, along with the popularity of Japanese cuisine, the sake boom is also breaking out both domestically and internationally. However, there is also a growing tendency for sake to be judged solely on singular aspects such as the rice polishing ratio and the type of yeast, which is far from the original essence of sake.
Developing high-value-added products Another issue was that there were far fewer high-value-added products compared to the wine market. Although aged sake had the added value of being vintage, there were no high-value-added products in the field of raw sake.
Bannistar participated in the project of developing “TSUGU” from the very early stages. For approximately two and a half years, we traveled to Koshiji, Niigata. We worked on the product development, research planning, naming, packaging, and communication strategy development including internet use.
With “TSUGU”, we are not just competing on the advancement of existing specifications, but rather reviewing all parts of the process from rice cultivation to sake brewing, focusing on unknown processes, aiming for the highest quality sake that can only be realized through the ultimate technology.
Just as the name “TSUGU” comes from the Japanese word meaning “to inherit” or “to carry”, “TSUGU” will “carry on” all of the techniques for the best sake brewing. This name also carries the meaning that it will “carry on” connections between people that are created through drinking this sake together.
For the packaging, we utilized straight lines to represent eternal longevity, and an original and classy vertical label. We aimed to represent the product’s bright yet profound taste, as well as its dream-like aftertaste through these designs.