SEOUL, Dec.2 (Korea Bizwire) – As the trend of low-alcohol soju continues, boosted by the increased popularity of fruit-flavored soju, a product with an alcohol content of only 12 percent has been launched in the market.
Lotte announced that it has launched Sunhari Apple, an apple-flavored soju with an ABV of only 12 percent.
Considering that wine has an ABV of around 14 percent, the 12 percent soju is even weaker than wine. Currently, 17 percent is the lowest ABV for soju.
As the ‘alcohol of the people’, which helped them make it through tough times, the bitter taste of soju has often been compared to the hardships in life.
Soju first appeared in 1924, and the ABV back then was 35 percent, due to the common understanding among people that when it comes to liquor, ‘the harder the better’. The ABV of soju was lowered to 30 percent in 1965, but it was still too strong for everyone to enjoy.
After lowering ABV to 25 percent in 1973, Soju finally settled as the ‘alcohol of the people’. It wasn’t the type of liquor to drink on happy occasions; it was the drink that held all the pain, hurt and hardship in the world. And at the same time, it helped you to forget your hardships.
However, as time passed, people started drinking soju at joyous occasions as well, and in 1998, when the ABV of soju was lowered to 23 percent, it gained explosive popularity. After that, soju became softer and softer, with ABV lowered to 22 percent in 2001, 21 percent in 2004, and 20 percent in 2006.
In 2007, the alcohol content in soju finally went below 20 percent, which was thought of as the ‘minimal requirement’ to be soju. Products with only 19.5 percent ABV were released, and soju continued on its way to become a softer alcoholic beverage.
Now, soju is continuing its evolution with the addition of various fruit flavors, as well as even lower alcohol content.
Since Lotte launched the citrus-flavored ‘Sunhari’ in March, and won the hearts of many women, softer soju with flavors spurred a new craze. The color series of ‘Joeun Day’ and HiteJinro’s ‘Jamong Isul’ (grapefruit flavored soju) followed the lead of Sunhari, and currently 20 different flavored soju products are available for liquor lovers.
By Francine Jung (email@example.com)