Imports of wine and whiskey surge due to the popularity of home alcohol and highball

Wine imports increased by more than 70% last year, and whiskey imports also reached the highest level in five years. Last year, ‘home alcohol’ (drinking at home) and ‘honsul’ (drinking alone) were popular, and ‘highball’ is interpreted as the effect of popularity.

According to the Korea Customs Service and the liquor industry on the 5th, wine imports amounted to $56.17 million from January to November last year, up 76.0% from the same period last year. Wine imports were $244 million in 2018, $259.26 million in 2019, and $323 million in 2020.

By importing country, France had the largest share with $162.5 million. It was followed by the United States ($81.6 million), Chile ($68.62 million), Spain ($37.96 million) and Australia ($29.79 million).

The industry believes that wine imports have also risen sharply as the number of dining parties has decreased and the culture of enjoying home alcohol and single alcohol has spread due to the COVID-19 outbreak that has been going on since 2020.

During the same period, imports of whiskey were $154.34 million, up 37.4% from the same period last year. It is the first time in three years since 2018 that whiskey imports have increased. Annual whiskey imports, including December imports, are expected to reach the highest level in five years since 2016’s $166.12 million.

Whiskey consumption has been on the decline for several years as demand for strong alcoholic beverages has decreased.

On the other hand, beer imports were $24.47 million during the same period, down 1.7 percent from the previous year. Beer imports recorded $39.68 million in 2018 and have been on a downward trend every year. It is interpreted that the popularity of domestic craft beers such as Gompyo Beer and Jeju Beer has influenced the boycott of Japanese beer that occurred as Japan imposed export restrictions on Korea in 2019.

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