Saké popularity continues to increase around the world except in Japan. In fact, Japanese consumption continues to wane.
Today's Guardian discusses these trends in Saké. Last year, Saké exports rose to an all-time high of 11,334 kiloliters. About 1/3 of that Saké goes to the United States, followed by Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. Saké exports to China have doubled since 2002. Consumption in Europe still lags as I mentioned previously.
Saké consumption in Japan has decreased every year since 1995 to a record low of 700,000 kiloliters in 2006. Currently in Japan, Saké constitutes only about 7% of all sales of alcoholic drinks.
From these figures, we can see that Saké exports are still tiny, about 1.5%, compared to how much Saké is consumed in Japan. Japanese breweries need to promote Saké far more in other markets if they wish to survive. And they should be promoting Saké in their own country as well. Saké has much to offer and I believe ignorance about Saké is what prevents many from trying it.