South Korea beer sales soar with social change

03 May, 2017

Imported beer sales in South Korea have boomed due to a change in social behavior and a rise in single households.

According to data by E-Mart, South Korea’s largest retailer, the proportion of beer sales to all alcoholic beverages was 55% in April this year.

Research made by Korea Joongang Daily suggests this dramatic percentage ‘reflects changes in society where more consumers are opting to enjoy light drinks with their families’ instead of ‘binge drinking with colleagues’.

35% of the Korean population live alone and KJD reported that: “The spread of such a trend deriving from growing single households and lone-eaters has also fueled the sale of beer.”

The sudden increase of beer consumption is largely due to the popularity of imported beers, whose sales surged almost 42% to $7.75 million in March and increased by 24.3% in 2016.

According to Korea Customs Service, Korea’s inbound shipments of foreign beers equaled 95,858 tons in 2016, up 34.5% from 2015 and in the same year the country imported 170,919 tons, worth $142 million.


Dominic Roskrow

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