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Whisky sales drop amid change in drinking culture

Sales of whisky products in South Korea continued to fall in the first five months of this year, mainly due to a protracted economic slump and a change in the drinking culture, industry data showed Thursday.

According to the data, whisky product sales in the January-May period fell 6.8 percent to 619,341 boxes from 664,310 tallied in the same period last year. A box contains 18 0.5-liter bottles.

Sales of whisky in the Korean market reached their peak in 2008 with 2.84 million boxes and have since been on a downturn.
 
In this file photo taken on Nov. 11, 2016, a consumer looks at bottles of liquor at a supermarket in Seoul. (Yonhap)
In this file photo taken on Nov. 11, 2016, a consumer looks at bottles of liquor at a supermarket in Seoul. (Yonhap)

The drop in sales came amid a change in the patterns of the country's drinking culture, with fewer people going group binge drinking after work. Rounds of heavy drinking at night have been common and part of South Koreans' work culture, perceived as a way of connecting coworkers.

The implementation of a new anti-graft law here is also cited as a factor that has slowed overall alcohol consumption. The law, which came into effect in late September last year, mainly puts a limit on offering gifts and meals to public officials and journalists. (Yonhap)
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