SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Korea Bizwire) – Low-alcohol versions of the traditional alcoholic beverage “makgeolli” have gained popularity, mainly as a result of more people opting to drink alone, industry officials said Thursday.
The grain-based drink usually contains an alcohol content of six to seven percent but products with four to five percent have become popular among women and younger people in recent years, they said.
Jipyeong Brewery, a small manufacturer, said its sales of makgeolli products surged after lowering its alcohol content from six to five percent. Annual sales skyrocketed from 200 million won (US$178,000) in 2010 to 4.5 billion won in 2015, 5.2 billion won in 2016 and 11 billion won in 2017, and 16.6 billion won in 2018.
“A new trend of the local beverage market is not to get drunk but to enjoy the drink,” a company source said.
A local brewery, Kooksoondang, rolled out its so-called Makgeollicano that is made out of rice and coffee with an alcohol content of four percent in May, 2017.
The company said it released a new makgeolli product with alcohol content of five percent last year.