E-Malt.com News article: South Korea: Liquor companies brewing trying to expand overseas
South Korea’s liquor companies are brewing for global markets, shipping to a growing number of regions across the world and opening pop-up stores to target local consumers, industry officials said on July 4.
Hite Jinro held a series of promotional events earlier this year in Europe to introduce Korean alcohols and offer engaging experiences to customers.
It opened pop-up stores called Corea Spirit 2019 in Paris and A Midsummer Night's Jinro in London in May.
More than 500 people visited each of the pop-up stores, showing high interest in Korea's drinking culture and alcohol beverages, according to the company.
"Since 2016, we've been putting a lot of effort into globalizing soju. We will prepare more opportunities to experience Korean liquor culture and strengthen overseas markets," a Hite Jinro official said.
Regarding the pop-up store marketing strategy, the official said, "We thought opening a pop-up store would be a great idea to promote our products, ranging from beer to fruit-flavored soju, and offer tasting events to enhance our brand awareness."
In 2018, Hite Jinro's overseas sales stood at 97 billion won, up 3 percent from the year before. Meanwhile, it exported soju worth $53.84 million last year, up 12.5 percent from 2017.
In the first five months of this year, beer sales in European countries, including Britain, France, Germany and Russia, jumped 66.4 percent year-on-year, with soju also rising 50.3 percent.
Another company Lotte Liquor opened a flagship store called "K-pub Chum-Churum" in Hanoi, Vietnam, in January, as part of its campaign to promote its flagship soju brand Chum-Churum. The company offered Korean foods, including tteokbokki, alongside the liquor to promote Korea's liquor culture.
In fact, Vietnam has a high purchasing power for soju, accounting for 32 percent of Southeast Asia's soju market.
The sales of Chum-Churum have grown at an annual rate of 28 percent in Vietnam over the past five years.
"A lot of local customers who visited our flagship stores were familiar with Korean culture or had keen interest in Korea. The hallyu phenomenon has certainly given a boost to overseas demand for Korean liquor," a Lotte Liquor official said.
In June, the company hosted another promotional event dubbed Casual Pop Kloud City in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to raise awareness of its beer brand Kloud.
Cambodia's alcohol market is worth 1 trillion won, and beer accounts for about 40 percent.
Lotte Liquor plans to increase awareness and export volume of Kloud through ads and social media, according to the company.
"We will also perform localization to reinforce our product line per different regions," the official said.
04 July, 2019