Updated August. 19, 2014 00:38
Hite Jinro will make a foray into the East European market, one of the origins of beer. The company will also introduce soju, the Korea liquor, for the first time in the region.
Hite Jinro said on Monday that it recently signed export and distribution contract with Alko SC, an importer and distributor of foods and beverages in Poland, and will export 25,000 bottles of its six different flagship products, including "Hite Bear" and "Chamisul" soju. In attendance at a contract signing ceremony at Kotras Korea Trade Center in Warsaw on August 10 were Yang In-jip, president of Hite Jinros overseas business division, and Tedius Kishiak, CEO of Alko SC. Yang said, The deal is significant in that Korean liquor has made inroads into the East European market for the first time. Kishiak said, I am pleased that we are introducing Korean soju to East European countries starting with Poland.
Alko SC will introduce Hite Jinros beer and soju in phases at more than 20 large discount stores and retail shops in Warsaw. In addition to Poland, Hite Jinro plans to export its soju and beer products to other East European nations, including three Baltic countries (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia), Romania and Ukraine, within this year.
On the companys advance into the East European states, a source at Hite Jinro said, Trying to find countries to newly make inroads after the U.S., Japan and China, we have decided to target East European countries as a region with cold weather where alcohol consumption is relatively high.
According to a survey on per-capita annual alcohol consumption by populations aged 15 or older by country recently released by the World Health Organization, East European countries were making the list of top five, including Belarus (ranking first with 17.5 liters), Lithuania (third with 15.4 liters) and Romania (5th with 14.4 liters).