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Popularity of Soju Rising in the U.S. Market
HiteJinro Reports Steep Growth in Soju Sales
Popularity of Soju Rising in the U.S. Market
  • By Choi Moon-hee
  • April 4, 2019, 08:41
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HiteJinro’s bus advertising for soju at a Korean festival in Manhattan

An increasing number of American consumers are opting for South Korean soju and beer.

HiteJinro announced on April 3 that its liquor sales volume in the United States showed an average annual growth of 15 percent for the three most recent years. Last year, the volume increased by 10 percent year on year to 18 million 500 mL beer and 360 mL soju bottles. During the period, the company’s soju and beer sales volumes increased 5 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

Such an increase in sales was led by locals as well as South Koreans in the United States. HiteJinro started to export its soju in earnest in 2016 and has launched country-specific marketing campaigns since then.

The company is expecting that its growth in the U.S. market will continue for a while based on a bill related to soju sale and recently passed by the Washington House of Representatives.
 

At present, soju can be sold only in glasses at bars and restaurants located in Washington. After the passage of the bill, however, the bars and restaurants can sell it in bottles as well. The same bill was passed in California in 1998 and in New York in 2002.