Beer Imports Exceed Half of Superstore Sales

  • By Kim Choong-ryung

    February 27, 2017 12:50

    Imported beer now accounts for more than 50 percent of beer sales in superstores.

    Major chain E-Mart on Sunday said imported beer accounted for 51.7 percent of its beer sales from Feb. 1 to 23, up 39 percent from the same period of last year.

    A consumer shops for beer in a superstore in Seoul. /Yonhap

    At Lotte Mart the proportion was slightly less than half at a still impressive 47.4 percent. A Lotte Mart staffer said, "Imported beer sales are rising continuously and are expected to surpass 50 percent within a month or two."

    E-Mart said the share of imported beer has doubled in the past five years, so it had to take some shelf space away from whiskey, whose sales are declining, to make room for foreign beers.

    "Preferences for imported beer have grown among consumers in their 20s and 30s, who are attracted by the wider choice of tastes and brands," an industry insider said. "It also seems that people are buying more beer because of new curbs on corruption since last year, instead of going to posh bars to drink expensive liquor with clients."

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