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Hiro Sake – ALFA Brands Inc. Press Release



Tampa, FL (September 6, 2023)Hiro Sake®, the award-winning, handcrafted, premium sake from Japan, has appointed ALFA Brands Inc. to be its distribution partner for the Global Travel Retail.

Hiro Sake® is a premium Japanese sake brewed in the Niigata Prefecture, the premiere sake-producing region of Japan. Hiro offers the ultra-premium

Hiro Gold,  super-premium Hiro Blue,  premium Hiro Red as well as the brand-new Hiro Saketini RTD canned cocktail.

HIRO GOLD, an ultra-premium sake known as Junmai Daiginjo sake, a product crafted from 100% Koshi-Tanrei sake rice. This rice is grown exclusively in the Niigata Prefecture, the premier sake producing region in Japan. Hiro Gold is produced in limited quantities only once a year by master-brewer, Toji. Hiro Gold is not available in Japan and is exclusive to US and travel European Travel Retail with a suggested  retail price of $100.00 (15% alc./vol.; 720ml). Hiro Gold, twice Winner of a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition joins the portfolio of Hiro Blue and Hiro Red, which have been growing double digits since their introduction in 2013 and are now available in over half the US domestic markets.



Hiro is a hand-crafted Japanese sake using only the finest ingredients at the Brewery Taiyo Shuzo, established in 1635 in the Niigata Prefecture. This Brewery is considered one of the finest craft sake breweries in Japan. In addition to the new Hiro Gold Junmai Daiginjo, Hiro offers Hiro Blue Junmai Ginjo (15% ABV) available in 720ml and 300ml bottles with a suggested retail price of $40.00 and $20.00 respectively, and Hiro Red Ginjo (15% ABV) also available in 720ml and 300ml bottles with a suggested retail price of $30.00 and $16.00, respectively. Hiro Red and Hiro Blue can be used in an infinite number of cocktails, standing in for vodka, rum, or gin and with only half the alcohol of traditional spirits. Hiro Sake is only 39 calories/ounce, additive- and preservative-free, gluten-free – made from rice-, histamine- and allergen-free – no allergic reactions-, and has one-third the acidity of wine, making it easier to metabolize.



“As we celebrate our 10th anniversary of the U.S. launch of Hiro Sake, we are excited to partner with ALFA Brands Inc. due to their long-standing expertise and compelling reputation in building super and ultra-premium brands in the Global and US Duty-Free/Travel Retail channels”, says Marco Destefanis co-founder and CMO of Hiro Sake LLC. “We have grown double digits every year since 2013 and this year we are looking forward to expanding the presence of Hiro Gold, and the ultra-premium Sake category, into the US Travel Retail and internationally”.

“We are extremely honored to be representing Hiro Sake hand-crafted products, and very much look forward to increasing the awareness and presence of this exquisite ultra-premium brands. To date, the Sake category has been under-represented in all segments of Duty-Free/Travel Retail, and we see an exciting and real opportunity to build a new refreshing category for Hiro Gold, Blue and Red in Duty-Free/Travel Retail. Partnering with the founders of Hiro Sake has been an extremely rewarding experience and we look forward, to welcoming everyone to our stand in Red Village – K 7, this October, at the TFWA in Cannes”, commented Franco Gabriele, Founder  and owner of ALFA Brands Inc.


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Award-Winning Hiro® Sake Announces the Debut of Hiro Saketini Ready-To-Drink Cocktail

Debuting in Florida This Month, Hiro Saketini Is the First Saketini RTD in the US Market And Will See Additional Flavors and Distribution Across the U.S. in 2023.

MIAMI, Dec. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Hiro Sake®, the award-winning, handcrafted, premium sake from Japan, is proud to announce the introduction of HIRO SAKETINI, the brand’s first Ready-To-Drink canned saketini cocktail and the first saketini RTD in the US market. Hiro Saketini will debut with a Black Cherry and a Watermelon Saketini in Florida this month at on-premise accounts initially, following to the off-premise market. In Florida, Hiro has named Breakthru Beverage Group as their distributor partner for Hiro Saketini. Distribution and additional flavors will expand across the U.S. in 2023.

Hiro Saketini cans will be available in a 4-pack (12 fl oz cans; 5% ABV) for a suggested retail price of $12.99 per pack.

Award-winning Hiro® Sake announces the debut of Hiro Saketini ready-to-drink cocktail. Debuting in Florida this month with Black Cherry and Watermelon, Hiro Saketini Is the first saketini RTD in the US market and will see additional flavors and distribution across the U.S. in 2023.

Consumers are embracing single-serve, ready-to-drink cocktails for their convenience to enjoy well-known drinks at home, at the beach, at a party or in other off-premise settings. According to DISCUS (Distilled Spirits Council of the US), spirits-based single-serve ready-to-drink cocktails are currently the fastest growing segment, up 42% in 2021 vs. previous year resulting in $1.6 billion in sales.

“When we launched Hiro Sake in 2011 we were hopeful that the U.S. market for sake would grow, develop and mature – and it did,” says Carlos Arana, Hiro Sake co-founder and CEO. “We are now moving into the quickly growing RTD segment as a brand extension to our bottle business. We noted that there are very few RTD products that use sake as a base and Hiro would be the first RTD line extension from an existing sake brand.It is the perfect serve for consumers that are looking for an easy-to-drink, easy-to-transport delicious, light and refreshing drink.”

The Saketini is a well-known cocktail that has been around for more than 40 years and is a staple drink at many Japanese and Asian restaurants. The Hiro Saketini is made with imported Japanese Hiro Sake Red, a junmai sake brewed in Japan, which is blended with natural fruit flavorings and carbonated water.

“We have seen the explosion of the RTD sector of the market,” says Marco Destefanis, Hiro Sake co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer. “We firmly believe that the saketini is a great opportunity to enter the RTD category and are proud to bring the first saketini RTD to this new and rapidly expanding segment. It was a very natural progression for our company, after more than 10 years in the sake business.”

In other Hiro Sake news, the brand was originally launched in 2011 with the award winning Hiro Red a junmai sake, Hiro Blue a junmai ginjo sake and in 2016 introduced ultra-premium Hiro Gold a junmai daiginjo sake. Hiro is made using only specially polished rice from premier rice-growing regions in Japan. The brand is available in more than 20 markets in the US, in Mexico (2015), in Canada (2016), in Japan (2018) and in the Caribbean and Australia (2019). The brand survived the pandemic by concentrating on fewer, key markets and has recently changed distributors in California to Wine Warehouse and in New York to LNJ Brands. In Texas, one of Hiro Sake’s biggest markets, the brand has seen significant sell-through in the off-premise.


Hiro Sake is premium Japanese sake brewed in JAPAN. Hiro offers Hiro Red (junmai), Hiro Blue (junmai ginjo) and the ultra-premium Hiro Gold (Junmai Daiginjo). In 2011 Hiro’s Toji (Sake Master) was awarded first prize in a Japanese national sake competition, regarded as one of the most important sake competitions in the world. Hiro is imported by Hiro Sake USA in Manhasset, NY. More information about the company can be found at, on Facebook, on Twitter @hiro_sake and on Instagram @Tryhirosake.


Please enjoy Hiro Sake – and Kanpai responsibly.

Welcome to Issue #67 of SIN.

As can bee seen in some of the stories in this issue, there are some interesting times ahead. The sake industry has traditionally been notorious for its inability to move with the times, but things have been getting better in recent years. Breweries developing innovative marketing approaches, new alliances being formed, and shifts in the status quo, have set the industry on an exciting new path that no one could have completely foreseen. A famous politician once said, “The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change”. While he probably wasn’t talking about the sake industry, it certainly applies.


Sake Industry News