S. Koreans enjoy more non-alcoholic beer during the pandemic
South Korea’s non-alcoholic beer market is growing at a rapid pace during the pandemic due to an increase in health-conscious consumers and the growth of the drinking-at-home culture.
The size of South Korea’s non-alcoholic beer market was about 20 billion won, equivalent to less than 1 percent of the size of the nation’s overall beer market.
Nonetheless, non-alcoholic beer has a strong growth rate.
Hite Jinro Co.’s annual sales of its non-alcoholic beer Hite Zero 0.00 surpassed 10 million in 2020 and more than doubled last year.
Sales of Hite Zero 0.00 had been between 6 and 7 million cans since it was released in 201s and before the pandemic.
Meanwhile, non-alcoholic beer sales at major convenience store chains such as GS25, 7-Eleven, and CU grew by 814 percent, 501 percent, and 460 percent last year from 2020.
The country’s non-alcoholic beer exports reached US$7.58 million last year, more than twice the increase from $2.93 million a year ago and a more than a fivefold jump from 2019, according to the Korea Customs Service.
While the increase in non-alcoholic beer consumption is due mainly to the growing health-conscious trend, the drink is also popular among dieters looking for beer alternatives and those placed in a situation where they need to drink.