Hello Sake Jobs!
Part 1: Package Manufacturer

Illustrated and Planned by Yoshito Fujiwara
Interviewed and Written by Saki Kimura
Interview Cooperation: Kita Sangyo

Hello Sake Jobs! is a serial column introducing occupations in the world of sake, with illustrations by Yoshito Fujiwara.
For the first article, we interview Kita Sangyo to learn about a package manufacturer. You will learn the vital roles they play and how they contribute towards the sake industry!

Q1. What Does a Package Manufacturer Do?

A package manufacturer is a job that makes packaging materials, such as bottles, lids, packaging machines and so on. As an example, Kita Sangyo makes lids for around 770 sake breweries in Japan, which consists of over half the total number of breweries in the nation. They also work for bottles, labels and carton boxes, not only in production but also planning and package design. An affiliated company Root Machinery is in charge of manufacturing sales of bottle filling machines, cappers, label machines and various kinds of machines for sake brewing.

Q2. What Kind of Departments Do They Have?

The Production Department is in charge of manufacturing materials and machines; the Planning and Development Department is in charge of product planning based on customers’ needs; the Design Department creates designs of lids and labels; the Sales Department does sales for sake breweries, including for regular clients and potential customers; the Quality Assurance Department is in charge of quality control and customer service. There are many more departments: for example, companies working on a global scale like Kita Sangyo have the Overseas Department.
Each department covers diverse roles: e.g., Kita Sangyo’s Production Department is divided into the sections of lids, plastic bottles and deodorants for automobiles.

Q3. How Can I Work for a Packages Manufacturer?

They recruit both new graduates (universities/high schools) and mid-career professionals.
Desirable skills and experiences are:
– Machinery and electrical for the Production Department
– Ability to use design software for the Design Department
– English for the Overseas Department
To the question “What kind of people are suited for this occupation?,” President of Kita Sangyo Tsuneo Kita answers “People who love drinking.”


Q4. How Much Can I Earn?

The official website shows the starting monthly salary for new graduates as:
– Sales, Management, Office
 Bachelor: 215,000JPY (1,955USD) / Associate Degree or Diploma: 200,000JPY (1,818USD)
– Technical Job
 Bachelor: 229,000JPY (2,082USD) / Associate Degree or Diploma: 210,000JPY (1,909USD)


Q5. What Will Become of Package Manufacturers in the Future?

A package manufacturer produces packages with a multidimensional perspective including designing and machinery. Listening to their customer breweries’ opinions, they are doing their best to create packaging materials and machinery adapting to the change of social needs and enhancing their value. For instance, Kita Sangyo started its history with a cork manufacturer, then they created plastic lids and invented AZK, Peelable plastic cover with a silicone/plastic cork stopper.
They have expanded their business overseas via exports and are working also with overseas sake breweries to supply them with their products and services. They also can contribute academically and culturally to the sake industry by offering the information via magazines or websites.
Packages manufacturers are engaged in the sake production from a different site than breweries. Their perspective is indispensable for the sake industry that has been developing in the global market.

For the theme of the next episode “Brewer,” we interviewed 6 (ex-)brewers. Stay tuned for it!