What we did
Sketch Events were tasked to create and deliver an experiential tasting gallery (sponsored by British Airways) for the DEFRA ‘Food is Great’ campaign in Japan to promote Great British food & drink.
The government Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) got in touch with us to execute an experiential tasting gallery as a promotional event, displaying the best of British food and drink in Osaka, Japan.
The Line Up Store venue in Osaka, Japan was transformed using a fusion of Japanese and British culture, where elements from both sides were merged and harmonised to produce an immersive hub in which the guests could fully indulge in British food culture and experience all the things that make British food great!
Elements such as our giant, paper Union Jack (made from blue, white and red origami salmon), our story plinths and perfumery displays were bespoke made and incorporated to, not only add aesthetic features to the venue, but also to push forward multi-dimensional information about the products being produced in the United Kingdom and served to our Japanese guests.
On the first day of events, we launched with an exclusive VIP cocktail party for trade, media and influencers. They were invited to The Lineup Store, were the reception was held, and served the highest quality British beef, lamb, salmon, pork, and cheese canapés. These were partnered with exquisite cocktails created by our talented Japanese mixologist, Ryu Okada.
Following the VIP launch party, we hosted 3 days of tasting sessions for the general public to enjoy. There were 5 sessions per day with around 30 people attending each session. They were run by our award-winning mixologist, Ryu who educated guests on the origin of each ingredient and why it was partnered with the associated drink.
Pairings included dishes such as;
Scottish salmon with a Scottish seaweed tartar and tofu cream cheese partnered with an English Sparkling Wine. Brands of which included Digby, Hambledon, Hattingley Valley, Ridgeview and Gusbourne.
British beef on a turmeric rice ball garnished with shiso leaf and bamboo shoot, partnered with a Whisky. Brands included Johnnie Walker and Bruichladdich.
Welsh lamb shepherd’s pie garnished with kohshin radish partnered with a gin and tonic. Gin brands included the likes of The Botanist, East India, Chapel Down, Silent Pool and Cotswolds Distillery. The tonic alternated between Fentimans and Fever-Tree, both of which were infused with rosemary and horseradish prior to serving.
Sketch Events handled all international liaison to ensure that proceedings ran smoothly and the transition from a sketch to reality was executed flawlessly, even with the almost 6000-mile distance between London and Osaka!
Before their tasting gallery experience, guests in Japan had scored their perception of UK food as a 4.68 out of 10 on average. This hopped up to a score of 8.58 after they had partaken in the tasting sessions!
61% of guests said that they’d be very likely to purchase UK drink after their time in the tasting gallery and they collectively gave their overall gallery experience a rating of 9.15 out of 10!