Whiskey sales plunge in 2012 due to economic downturn

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Whiskey sales plunge in 2012 due to economic downturn

Whiskey sales in Korea fell sharply last year due to a persistent economic slump and sluggish domestic consumption, industry data showed yesterday.

According to data compiled by the Korea Alcohol & Liquor Industry Association (Kalia), a total of 2.12 million boxes were sold last year, down 11.6 percent from 2.4 million boxes sold in 2011. Each box contains 18 0.5-liter (17-ounce) bottles.

With the latest decline, whiskey sales have declined for four consecutive years since 2009 when sales of the hard liquor dropped 10.1 percent on-year.

Industry insiders said a deepening economic slump made people reluctant to buy relatively expensive liquors and they are increasingly turning to cheaper and lighter drinks like beer.

By brand, sales of best-selling Windsor, distributed by Diageo Korea, plunged 13.2 percent on-year to 800,750 boxes in 2012, from 922,271 boxes a year ago, showed the Kalia data. The sales decline is partly attributable to a price hike in September.

Pernod Ricard Korea, the distributor of No. 2 Imperial, saw a 6.7 percent drop in sales of its product, with 750,920 boxes sold in 2012 from 805,166 boxes the year before.

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