BUSAN, March 8 (Korea Bizwire) – After the craze for softer soju(Korean distilled spirits) swept the nation, a demand for softer whiskies are also starting to dominate the market, breaking down the ‘rules’ that traditional whiskies should have at least a 40 percent concentration of alcohol.
According to the World Scotch Whisky Association, when whisky which consists of less than 40 percent of alcohol is bottled, the natural substances which provide deep flavors are damaged, lowering the taste and quality of the whisky.
However, a recent trend which occurred in Busan is shaking the order of the whiskey market, as well as the beliefs of whiskey lovers.
The sales of whiskey containing less than 40 percent of alcohol in the domestic market during January and February this year reached 67,932 boxes(500㎖ x18 bottels), which is a 67.1 percent increase compared to the same period last year. As a result, the market share of soft whiskies jumped from 15.2 percent to 27.8 percent within a year.
Stronger whiskies which contain more than 40 percent of alcohol still have the lead in the market, but doesn’t seem to be in a secure position. 176,356 boxes of harder whisky were sold during January and February, sharing 72.2 percent of the market. However, compared to the previous year, the sales decreased 22.3 percent, and the market share dropped 12.6 percent point.
The increased popularity of softer whiskies were reflected in the rankings of domestic whiskies.
‘Golden Blue’, which was launched by a Busan based liquor company in 2012 was the first to introduce a softer whisky in the market. The whiskey had a 36.5 percent concentration of alcohol, and rapidly increased their share in the market. Last year, it ranked third in market share, shaking the top three ranks-Windsor, Imperial, and Scotch Blue-which have been solid for the past 18 years. A year after, Golden Blue ranked second, threatening the all-time top Windsor’s position.
Officials of the liquor market comment that drinks are getting softer, as the current trend is to lure in young female consumers. “Whisky brands which were startled at the growth of Golden Blue are launching softer products with less than 40 percent alcohol.” They say that the trend will be continued for a while, succeeding the craze for softer soju.
By Lina Jang (email@example.com)