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Japanese Whiskey – a morning with Suntory

Japanese Whiskey – a morning with Suntory

Yesterday I was invited to the Israel export and International cooperation institute for a round table meeting with an amazing Japanese company called Suntory. Suntory is the largest food conglomerate in Japan today. Suntory began as an alcohol distiller being the first company in Japan to produce wine and distill Whiskey. Knowing the Japanese culture taking huge risks like this are trully impressive but it is this innovative risk taking spirit which has made Suntory the powerhouse it is today

Suntory’s business has now altered somewhat with over 50% of their business coming from the non – alcoholic beverage market. They have diversified internationally and have purchased companies like Lucozade, Rhibena and Schweppes. Their alcohol business has also flourished and they recently purchased the Jim Bean group in the United states as well as earning the accolade of world best whiskey

But the achievement which really spoke to me as an Israeli was their development of an R&D division which is continuously growing and expanding looking for the best technologies to further their goals on an international scale. Following the meeting I met with Mr. Shigeru Sarada the Senior General Manager of their corporate division, Mr. Koji Nagao the General Manager of the R&D division and Mr. Alexandre Nicolau the Director of Strategic partnerships in the Innovation division. Mr. Nicolau stressed to me that they are in Israel specifically looking to invest and create partnerships with innovative Israeli companies from the food and biotech industry

A big focus has been put on proven health supplements which can be added to their existing non – alcoholic beverage line giving them added value over their competitors. So if anyone out their has a start up or company which addresses new needs in the food or supplement industry I would be happy to help move this forward