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Craft beer fizzes with rising popularity in Korea

(BGF Retail)
(BGF Retail)

Craft beer is expanding its market share in South Korea, with sales at convenience stores seeing a surge in recent months.

According to convenience store chain CU, the sales of craft beer products surged by 390.8 percent from January to June on-year. In March, the sales portion of craft beer products outstripped other brands produced by large liquor makers with 50.3 percent.

Another convenience store chain GS25 also said the sales of beer products manufactured by microbreweries jumped by 293 percent from January to May on-year.

The industry views the increased popularity of craft beer is largely due to the local boycott movement against Japanese beer products, triggered from the political and trade feud between the two countries.

According to Korea Customs Service, Korean imports of Japanese beer in the January-May period was 2.9 billion won, a drop by 91 percent from last year.

While Japanese beer brand Asahi topped in sales in the first half of 2019, it gave way to Heineken this year, and have been pushed to below the third place according to CU.

The COVID-19 outbreak also appears to have affected the sales of craft beer products, as it has led more people to drink at home, according industry sources.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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