[Photo by Yonhap]
Sales of whiskey have surpassed wine for the first time at Emart24, a major convenience store in South Korea, this year, on growing popularity of highball beverages among the young people.
According to Emart24, monthly sales of whiskey from August to the present have overtaken those of wine.
The reversal marks a notable turn of events since the introduction of whiskey and wine sales at the retailer, where wine had previously dominated.
In 2021, wine sales had been three times higher than those of whiskey.
Last year, wine sales were only double that of whiskey, showing a narrowing gap between the two categories. However, the turning point came in August of this year, with whiskey surpassing wine with a monthly sales ratio of 53 percent to 47 percent. This trend has persisted for four consecutive months.
The perception of whiskey in Korea, once regarded as an expensive liquor favored by the middle-aged demographic, has undergone a transformation.
It has now established itself as a trendy drink, particularly among the young people, contributing to the increased whiskey sales.
Additionally, the perception of whiskey offering better value for money compared to other spirits due to its versatility in consumption methods has also gained traction.
At CU, another Korean convenience store chain, traditional strongholds like soju and beer are experiencing a slowdown in growth, while whiskey sales are skyrocketing.
The beer market share at the retailer had consistently remained above 60 percent, but in October of this year, it fell below the threshold for the first time, recording 59.6 percent.
Conversely, the proportion of whiskey sales at CU has seen a significant rise over the past five years, climbing from 1.1 percent in 2019 to 4.2 percent this year.
CU’s recent mobile app sale event witnessed brisk sales of high-priced whiskies exceeding 1 million won ($770), with daily sales hitting up to 1 billion won. The exclusive launch of Johnny Walker Green at CU this year saw an impressive feat as 300 bottles were sold out within 10 minutes.
By Lee Hyo-seok and Minu Kim
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]