Yuuz Releases New Line of Original and Ginger Yuzu Japanese Lemonade!

Miki Yanai and Luiz Hernandez, founders of the new beverage company Yuuz, began their entrepreneurial journey across the world in the mountainous region of Kito in the Tokushima Prefecture on the Japanese Island of Shikoku. While on a trip, Miki and Luiz met with small farmers growing the Yuzu fruit, the cousin of the lemon. The unique climate of the Kito region, characterized by its mountains, high rainfall, and temperature variations, produces yuzu known for its distinctive flavor. Miki and Luiz fell in love with the aromatic flavor that combines tartness with a fragrant citrus aroma. They wanted to find ways to bring it back to the states and incorporate it into their daily lives. 

The yuzu fruit has a history in Japan spanning thousands of years. The yuzu plant, believed to have originated in China, was introduced to Japan during the Nara period (710-794 AD), primarily for its culinary and medicinal uses. Its distinctive tart flavor and aromatic qualities made it a popular addition in traditional Japanese cuisine. The high vitamin C content and other health benefits also contributed to its use in traditional remedies. Since then, yuzu has become deeply integrated into Japanese culture and cuisine. Yuzu continues today to hold a sacred place in society, associated with the winter season, resilience, and renewal. 

After a lot of R&D on the best ways to integrate yuzu into the American market, Miki and Luiz landed on a yuzu-lemonade. Lemonade was the perfect medium. It’s a beverage American consumers are already familiar with and the flavors were very complimentary. Yuzu enhances the fragrance and tartness of the traditional lemonade. Miki Yanai's approach blends tradition with modern tastes, ensuring that Yuuz's lemonade honors this history while meeting contemporary consumer preferences in the United States.

With a recipe in hand, Luiz and Miki partnered with Union Kitchen’s Accelerator to get their yuzu-lemonade dreams onto store shelves. They worked together on everything from product formulation and pricing to what kind of bottles and case boxes she needed to launch. They took in feedback from samples and demos in Union Kitchen stores on what people want - from the level of carbonation to the intensity of the yuzu flavor notes. 
As Yuuz gets ready to launch its new products, we invite you to try a modern take on a traditional beverage. From the orchards of Japan's Kito region to local communities, Yuuz's Original and Ginger Yuzu Lemonade showcase craftsmanship, innovation, and an even better lemonade experience for the summer months. Raise a glass to Miki Yanai, Luiz Hernandez, and the entire Yuuz team as they explore new flavors and reimagine lemonade with a touch of yuzu. Cheers.