Southeast Asia has become an attractive market for manufacturers of soju, as sales in this market are increasing at a swift pace (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Southeast Asia has become an attractive market for manufacturers of soju, a distilled beverage made from grain of the Republic of Korea (RoK) as sales in this market are increasing at a swift pace, reported Yonhap news agency.

Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co. of the RoK launched its exports-exclusive brand Soonhari in Thailand and Vietnam in February 2018. Lotte developed the Soonhari brand for foreign consumers  who are not used to the alcoholic flavour peculiar to soju, adding fruit flavours instead. It was first exported in 2015, and sales quadrupled in just two years, the company said.

Meanwhile, Hite Jinro Co. said it was opening more branches in the region to bolster sales of its soju products. The second Vietnam branch was added in Ho Chi Minh City after two years of business in the country, and a new outlet is in the works for the Philippines.

The company’s soju sales in Southeast Asia leaped to six million USD in 2016 from 4.9 million USD in 2015. They jumped further to 8.8 million USD last year, a growth of 46.7 percent from the previous year.

The consumer recognition of soju is very high in Southeast Asia because of the continuing popularity from K-dramas and K-pop, according to an industry official. The region is emerging as a source of new profits for the industry.-VNA