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HiteJinro's fruit-flavored soju bedazzles Chinese MZers

China may become HiteJinro's largest single importer given the current sales trend.

By Sep 08, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

HiteJinro's fruit-flavored soju bedazzles Chinese MZers

South Korea’s leading soju maker HiteJinro Co. has captivated China with its fruit-flavored soju products, gaining much popularity among local millennials and Gen Zers who prefer flavorful alcohol over hard liquor.

On Sept. 7, HiteJinro announced that its exports of soju to China have topped 1 million boxes this year, which translates into around 30 million soju bottles. This is the second time that the annual exports of soju to a single region have surpassed 1 million boxes since exporting to Japan in 1994.

HiteJinro may even set a fresh record of logging the highest sales in a single region if soju exports to China exceed 1.5 million boxes by the year-end -- a plausible scenario based on the current sales trend.

In China, HiteJinro’s soju sales have logged a 41% average annual growth rate since 2018. This year, fruit-flavored soju products accounted for 60% of the overall soju sales in China.

Local consumers' increased purchases of soju have driven HiteJinro’s strong growth in China. According to the Korean soju maker, 74% of Jinro soju purchases this year were made via local sales channels. In the past, Koreans living in China were the largest group of soju buyers but recently, there has been a significant rise in purchases made by Chinese residents.

Backed by the fruit-flavored soju hype, cocktail recipes such as mixing other beverages or fruits with Jinro’s fruit-flavored soju have become popular on China's social media platforms.

Moving forward, HiteJinro aims to carry momentum by executing localized marketing strategies in line with the Chinese market.


Write to Jong-kwan Park at pjk@hankyung.com

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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