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Whisky maker Golden Blue eyes premium distilled liquor market

All Headlines 09:59 March 26, 2019

SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- Golden Blue, a homegrown whisky maker, is moving to enter the local market for premium distilled spirits amid flagging whisky sales in South Korea, industry sources said Tuesday.

Golden Blue plans to put a premium distilled liquor product, developed by local alcoholic drink maker Omynara, on the domestic market as early as in the first half of the year.

It will be the first time for Golden Blue, known as the top local whisky brand of the same name, to introduce a premium distilled liquor product.

Golden Blue has plans to sell the envisioned product to Korean and Japanese restaurants, as well as bars that carry traditional Korean wines and soju, a distilled liquor.

Golden Blue's move is seen as an attempt to diversify its market amid plunging whisky sales in South Korea. Last year, the company won the exclusive right to sell Carlsberg beer in South Korea.

Whisky maker Golden Blue eyes premium distilled liquor market - 1

Whisky sales in South Korea have been cut in half over the past decade, with the market for premium spirits, including imported and craft beer, growing rapidly.

The domestic market for premium distilled liquors has also been showing fast growth, with soju taking center stage.

The market for premium soju brands grew sharply to 33.2 billion won (US$29.3 million) in 2017 from 9.5 billion won in 2012, posting an annual growth rate of more than 20 percent over the cited period. The market is estimated to reach around 70 billion won in 2020.

The local market for premium distilled spirits is estimated to be 1.2 times that for premium soju products.

Golden Blue has been seeking to make inroads into the premium distilled liquor market since signing a deal on product development and distribution with Omynara, the farm ministry and the city of Mungyeong, about 184 kilometers southeast of Seoul.
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