Observing Changes in Seoul’s Alcohol Market

While we all know change is happening everywhere all the time it is interesting to actually see it happening, isn’t it? As a part of the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association’s trade mission delegation, for the last ten days our Claire Logsdon has been in Seoul. Changes in Seoul’s alcohol market have been interesting.

Observing Changes in Seoul's Alcohol Market - Pouring Wine for Buyer - CKJY Exports Wine & Spirits Blog
Meeting with interested buyers at the Intercontinental Seoul COEX as a part of the WUSATA Trade Mission last week, Claire Logsdon represented CKJY Exports’ Portfolio Partners.

Claire has been observing the market changes that the trade mission delegation discussed with the American Trade Organization representative, Mr. Oh. She met with him as a part of the trade mission and again later to gather more in-depth insights on specific topics. Naturally, Claire has been touring other alcohol outlets of interested buyers and potential buyers.

Observed Changes in Seoul’s Alcohol Market

Wine is making inroads into the markets in Seoul. Over the last few years of Claire traveling to Seoul, there definitely seems to be more widespread recognition and acceptance of it. Wine bars are beginning to pop up around town.

In speaking with South Korean alcohol buyers, the total meeting time the spend discussing wine has increased. Suppliers are seeing more demand and appreciating the longer shelf life of wine.

Interestingly, they are beginning to appreciate more varietals and blends than before. Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Syrah have previously been the conversational extent of most buyer meetings. Isn’t it terrific that more are appreciating and exploring the wine world?

Observing Changes in Seoul's Alcohol Market - Touring Wine Sections in Stores - CKJY Exports Wine & Spirits Blog
As a part of the WUSATA trade delegation, Claire Logsdon toured stores with the group and later on her own throughout Seoul.

Challenges in the South Korean Market

Politics and alcohol seem cosmically linked, don’t they? This is true in the United States and also in South Korea. Due to political upheaval in South Korea, alcohol has experienced increased taxation in this past year. Thankfully, these increased fees will be coming to an end the first part of next year. Most suppliers expect this to normalize their alcohol markets and once again increase demand.

Across the board, the suppliers that Claire has met with appreciate the quality and safety standards that United States alcohol products offer. Matching the best product at the price point in the proper quantities is what CKJY Exports Inc.’s team does well and our long term relationships with our clients are appreciated.

2020 – The Year of the White Metal Rat

Looking ahead to major 2020 holidays and celebrations, the Lunar New Year celebration will be on January 25th. According to many the zodiac calendar, years are imbued with characteristics of different animals. 2019 has been the year of the pig and 2020 will be the year of the rat. Rats have many connotations to their characters and the highlights of these are renewed ambitions and strategies. These will be great to pair with the changes in Seoul’s alcohol market, won’t they?


Want to learn more about the South Korean Alcohol Market?

South Korean Alcohol Market SnapShot

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