The Korea Herald


Korean adults drank 53 bottles of soju, 83 bottles of beer last year

Consumption of alcohol shows general decline in S.Korea in last 5 years

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : Sept. 20, 2022 - 15:19

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The average South Korean adult consumed 52.9 bottles of soju and 82.9 bottles of beer last year, a report found Tuesday, equaling to a bottle of soju a week.

According to the report based on sales data compiled from the National Tax Service and Korea Customs Service, a total of 825.8 million liters of soju and 1.79 billion liter of beer, including 255.2 million liter of imports, were distributed through local manufacturers last year.

In terms of bottles, a total of 2.29 billion bottles of soju and 3.59 billion bottles of beer were consumed.

Based on the shipments, soju consumption was found to have reduced 12.7 percent last year from 2017. Beer also saw a 16.7 percent decline in consumption during the same period.

Consumption of traditional rice wine, or makgeolli, also decreased to 363.1 million liters last year from 409.4 million liters in 2017.

Imported alcoholic beverages also showed an overall decrease in consumption, with wine being the only category whose sales by volume have significantly increased over the past five years.

During the 2017-2021 period, wine consumption soared to 76.8 million liters from 36.5 million liters.

“Shipments of alcohol beverages, including imports, have been on a decline since before the pandemic,” said Rep. Kim Sang-hoon of the ruling People Power Party, the author of the report.

“It appears to be a phenomenon that reflects the changing trends in the nation’s gathering culture and alcohol consumption.”

"As the World Health Organization estimates that drinking is the main cause of more than 200 diseases and the death of 33 million people every year, the government should continue to implement policies to better manage alcohol consumption,” added Kim.