January 18, 2022 12:34
The market for whiskey, which had slumped as the coronavirus lockdown shut bars and nightclubs, is regaining vigor thanks to rising sales of premium liquor.
Industry watchers say more younger consumers are turning to premium whiskey, which used to be sold primarily to bars.
According to the Korea Customs Service on Monday, Korea's whiskey imports totaled US$175.4 million in 2021, the highest level since 2015 and up 32.4 percent from 2020.
Supermarket chain Lotte Mart said the proportion of liquor sales rose from 14.4 percent in 2020 to 21.5 percent last year.
"There was an increase in people who drink at home alone in lockdown and they prefer premium whiskey instead of soju," an industry insider said. "The availability of Royal Salute costing more than W300,000 a bottle at convenience stores also played a big role (US$1=W1,191)."
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