South Korean beer that had ranked No. 1 in terms of alcoholic beverages sold at large discount stores have lost ground to foreign rivals and wine, market data showed on Feb. 6, 2019.
Figures released by E-Mart Inc., one of the largest hypermarket chains in Asia's fourth-largest economy, showed that local beer ranked third in terms of sales for the whole of 2018. It said foreign beer and wine both outsold the locally brewed alcoholic beverage, with market share of domestic products falling to just 21.4 percent, from 28.6 percent in 2015, when it was the best seller.
"Market share of locally made beer has been falling steadily amid stiffer competition," an E-Mart source said.
He said that in contrast, both foreign beer and wine, whose market shares stood at 17.7 percent and 21.5 percent in 2015, moved up to 25.3 percent and 22.7 percent, respectively, as of last year.
The retailer said that besides market share, the number of people buying South Korean lager fell from 11.19 million people in 2016 to just 9.23 million in 2018.
Market watchers said the rise in the number of people drinking alone and sharp price reductions for imported alcoholic beverages are fueling their popularity. Demand for variety is also contributing to the rise in sales of foreign made beer, they said.
Related to the rise in demand for foreign beverages, numbers provided by the Korea International Trade Association showed inbound shipments of beer and wine jumped 17.7 percent and 16.2 percent, respectively, in 2018, compared with the previous year. (Yonhap)