PR Times reports on a new product in the Muji lineup – sake.
Ryōhin Keikaku, also known as Mujirushi Ryōhin (no-brand quality products) or Muji for short, started life in 1980 as a no-brand own-brand line in Seiyu supermarkets. It used minimalist packaging (clear plastic and brown paper), had no logo or fancy wrapping, and a no-waste approach. The first Muji shop opened in 1983, and they started expanding overseas from 1985.
Ryōhin Keikaku used rice grown in the Ōyama area of Kamogawa city in Chiba Prefecture to make sake, available in a limited number of Muji stores from 22 December. The rice-growing project is run by the non-profit Satoyama Trust, which works in semi-rural areas affected by ageing populations and migration of young people out of the area.
The sake is made from freshly harvested 100% Koshihikari rice, called Nagasamai (長狭米) as it comes from the Nagasa plain in the Kamogawa area, famous for rice since the Edo Period. The Satoyama Trust supports rice farmers in the area, and was looking to add value to the currently low-priced table rice grown there. 800 bottles of the sake were sold in 2016 through four Muji stores and the Kameda brewery to positive reviews, so 2017 production has been increased by a factor of 2.5 to 2,000 bottles.
The sake is a junmai muroka genshu (unfiltered and undiluted, made without brewing alcohol), made with Koshihikari table rice milled to 70%. A 720 ml bottle costs JPY 1,800 (tax included). The 2017 release is available at Muji Yūrakuchō, Muji Grand Front Osaka, Muji Nanba, Muji Canal City Hakata, and the Kameda brewery.