News: Koreans like fruit beers

According to this story from the Korean Times beer imports have doubled in the past three years to Korea.

According to the numbers Hooch, the fruit-flavored German beverage, was the hottest item at its stores with sales at 218.8 percent above last year’s, although beer enthusiasts may debate it being called a beer. Sales of Hoegaarden rose 172 percent year-on-year at GS25 stores, followed by Chingtao and Heineken posting 62.2 percent and 40 percent growths, respectively. 

However, industry watchers believe the demand for imported beer will continue to rise with consumers responding to differentiated styles and tastes, unlike local brands like Hite and Cass, which, despite enjoying strong consumer loyalty, have never been accused of being distinctive. 

Imports from the Netherlands, the home of Heineken, reached $4.25 million during the first half, a significant increase from $184,000 in 2005. 

Beer imports from Belgium reached $1.99 million, apparently a tribute to the popularity of Hoegaarden, and imports from Germany reached $1.11 million.

Imports from Japan reached $3.61 million, nearly double that of last year’s $1.58 million. Imports from the United States remained strong, reaching $3.34 million during the first half. 

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