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HiteJinro's fruit-flavored soju becomes huge hit among Russian MZers

Soju, often called Korean vodka, has been enjoying success in Russia thanks to HiteJinro's localization strategy

Jun 21, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Courtesy of HiteJinro
Courtesy of HiteJinro

South Korea's leading soju maker HiteJinro Co. has been enjoying great success in Russia thanks to strong demand for fruit-flavored soju from local millennials and Gen Zers, collectively known as MZers. Soju, often referred to as Korean vodka, is a clear, distilled spirit. 

The company announced on June 21 that exports of soju to Russia rose by 11% in 2020 compared to the year-earlier period. In particular, exports of its fruit-flavored soju, such as the Jinro Green Grape, jumped by 40% compared to the previous year.

Fruit-flavored soju products have become a massive hit among Russian MZers given the variety of fruit flavors and lower alcohol content than regular soju.

Jinro Green Grape (Courtesy of HiteJinro)
Jinro Green Grape (Courtesy of HiteJinro)

HiteJinro's impressive performance is tied to its ability to win over local MZers in Russia, which has strict alcohol advertising regulations.

The Korean soju maker targeted younger consumers by making good use of influencers such as YouTube streamers, food bloggers and bartenders to promote soju on social media networks. 

HiteJinro has also made serious efforts to broaden its distribution channels in Russia, such as targeting local supermarkets and chain stores in Moscow to promote its best-sellers such as the Chamisul soju and Jinro Green Grape.

Thanks to HiteJinro's successful localization strategy, the company has seen a significant rise in soju exports to Russia, logging an annual average growth rate of 76% since 2017. During the same period, fruit-flavored soju posted an annual average growth rate of 169%.

Moving forward, the company plans to continue fine-tuning its localization strategy to increase the number of stores that offer HiteJinro products in Russia.

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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