Artwork for podcast Jandals in Japan
Cracking the can in Japan: Japanese beverage market entry with Native Sparkling’s Matt and Guy Hobson
Episode 49th May 2022 • Jandals in Japan • Jayne Nakata & Catherine O'Connell
00:00:00 01:02:04

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Native Sparkling is making a splash in Japan and we cannot wait to introduce you to two of the team behind it, Matt and Guy Hobson. We’ve been following their journey of getting business entry visas, and how they have carried themselves as NZ brand ambassadors during their short time in Japan. We wanted to bring their voice to the show while their memories are still fresh of what it’s been like to embark on their first sales tour of Japan. A must listen for anyone who is considering doing the same soon!

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If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, we’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Head over to Apple Podcasts to leave a review and we’d love it if you would come and say hi (or Kia Ora or Konnichi Wa!) over on @jandalsinjapan on Instagram.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How Native in incorporating conservation of New Zealand native bird species with enjoying an alcoholic beverage that is also a healthier alternative
  • How they got their foot in the door in Japan
  • Guy and Matt’s top tips for making the most of a sales trip to Japan
  • The differences between Japan and New Zealand business card etiquette
  • Their ideas for next steps in the beverage industry in Japan and New Zealand

About Native Sparkling

2012 saw two friends, Matt & Luke, dreaming up an alcoholic beverage focused more on how you feel the next day, than how quickly you felt the alcohol. Like all good ideas formed over a beverage with a mate, it was parked for six years…

In 2018, Matt and Luke were once again sharing ideas, with Matt’s brother Guy included. With the rise of hard seltzers in the United States that focused on a ‘better alcohol option’ the old recipe was dusted off and put to the test on family and friends…they were onto something! The trio set about crafting a beverage they would be proud to share. This meant it had to be purposeful, sustainable and delicious. After tasting hundreds of fruit profiles (including the now famous Lemon & Yuzu) and blending this with a neutral alcohol base, Aotearoa’s first hard sparkling was born.

Just as Native's mascot, the pīwakawaka (fantail), flutters about keeping a close eye on things, younger sister Brooke did not want to miss out and tasked herself with spreading the message across the country – joining the close-knit team.

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