Posted on | August 24, 2015
Written by | Sara Kay
Sake brand debuts new flavor & boldly taps into booming yoga market.
Perhaps it’s fitting that yoga has grown so quietly and confidently in this country. Anchored by balance and calm mindfulness, the ancient spiritual/ascetic discipline has become a passion for 20 million U.S. adults (8.7% of the population). Interestingly, while the ancient spiritual/ascetic discipline may cast the image of a simple, even puritanical lifestyle, yoga enthusiasts as a group register well above average in terms of their fondness for alcohol: MRI reports that 74% drink alcohol regularly, compared with 59% of the U.S. adult population overall. That’s 15 million consumers—and Yoga Journal estimates over 100 million more Americans are interested in trying yoga.
Aiming to tap into this affinity, TY KU, the Japanese sake brand first introduced in the U.S. in 2007 and now part of Davos Brands, has launched an “Après Yoga” campaign. A play on the “après ski” tradition of unwinding with drinks after a satisfying workout, TY KU is zooming in on the vibrant, health-minded yoga community.
Davos Brands Vice Chairman Guillaume Cuvelier explains, “They try to balance the fast-paced world they live in. They look for ways to de-stress and step back from the race of everyday life.” And just as yoga provides a source of relaxation, balancing and wellness, Cuvelier believes these enthusiasts are “looking to expand those practices and values in their lives in what they do and what they drink.”
Practice Hard, Then Play
In researching the yoga community, Cuvelier and his team found that after-yoga socializing was popular, including going out for a drink or two. “We position ‘Après Yoga’ as the moment after you work really hard in holding those long poses, and you want to go out and have bonding and socializing moments with friends,” says Cuvelier. “Instead of having a beer or wine, have sake, because it fits into your wheelhouse in the sense of what you want to eat and drink.”
With National Yoga Month kicking off in September and World Sake Day taking place on October 1st, TY KU
hopes to communicate that sake is fully aligned to the healthy lifestyle as a non-GMO, gluten-free, sulfite-free and low-acid beverage.
POS materials include glasses, yoga mats and yoga water bottles, as well as a wide range of sake cocktails that are named after well-known yoga poses. Activations at bars and yoga studios will encourage yoga enthusiasts to try TY KU and make it a part of their daily lives.
“The big challenge is to explain and eliminate the misconceptions about sake,” continues Cuvelier. “It is the same alcohol content as wine, and it should be chilled and sipped like wine. Premium sake is also a perfect base for a light cocktail; it’s something fun and interesting but without the calories and high alcohol content that come with most drinks.”
He adds, “They love it, they get it, and that little bit of complexity is enough to be intriguing, acting as a moment to learn more about sake in general.”