Trends in Korean Alcohol: More People Preferring Weaker and Smoother Liquor


The days of mindless drinking of hard liquor are over. The latest trend in Korean alcohol is lower alcohol percentages, targeting a wider range of consumers.

Soonhali has a 14 percent alcohol percentage, 3 percent lower than the average soju. Over 1,500,000 bottles have been sold for the past two months, after it was released in March. In response, a 13.5 percent soju has also been released to intensify the competition.

The same low-alcohol, smooth beverage trend of liquor is also spreading to other categories. 5 percent alcohol wines have been released, compared to the regular 12-13 percent. Even whisky with low alcohol percentages around 5 percent are gaining popularity.

These changes are occurring because of the growing drinking culture that promotes recreational drinking and the increasing number of female consumers.

Low percentage alcohols are now becoming a trend with the increased consumption of tonic water, used to water down liquor, by 22.3 percent.

Since people tend to drink more when alcohol percentages are lower, this leads to increased sales of the products. Thus several liquor companies are trying to get ahead of the game and release smoother alcoholic drinks.

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