SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co., a unit of South Korea’s retail giant Lotte Group, said Tuesday it has signed an initial pact with a U.S. wine company for exports of its distilled liquor “soju” products to the U.S. market.
Lotte Chilsung signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with California-based E & J Gallo Winery to sell its soju products through the U.S. firm’s sales networks starting January, the company said in a statement.
Under the MOU, Lotte Chilsung will help E & J Gallo boost its wine product sales in the Korean market, it said.
Lotte Chilsung sells Chum Churum and Saero soju products and other beverages in global markets. Soju is a distilled liquor made of ethyl alcohol and water, with the addition of sweeteners.
The company accounts for 20 percent of the 3.5 trillion won (US$2.7 billion) domestic soju market, with its bigger rival Hitejinro Co. claiming 65 percent and others holding the remainder.
Lotte Chilsung’s net profit jumped 45 percent on-year to 67.8 billion won in the July-September period helped by increased exports and local sales.