Moon’s beer of choice sees sales shoot up

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Moon’s beer of choice sees sales shoot up

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Left: Cocktails and appetizers provided at the Blue House reception hosted by President Moon Jae-in on Friday. The cocktails were created based on beer products from local craft beer company 7Brau. Right, clockwise from top left: 7Brau’s Dalseo Orange Ale and Gangseo Mild Ale, and Ottogi Sesame Ramen cup noodle. [YONHAP, EACH COMPANY]

Sales of food products linked to President Moon Jae-in’s two-day drinks reception and dinner with Korean tycoons have shot up as consumers show renewed interest in companies highlighted at the event last week.

Beers from local brewery 7Brau, which was selected as the toasting drink for the reception, as well as noodles from Ottogi, a midsize food company that was unexpectedly invited to the meeting, showed a steep increase in sales, according to data from major convenience store chain CU on Sunday.

According to CU, sales of 7Brau’s Gangseo Mild Ale, named after Gangseo District located on the western edge of Seoul, jumped up 42 percent on Thursday compared to the previous week. On Friday, the final day of the event, the rate of sales growth rose further to 76 percent.

7Brau’s Dalseo Orange Ale, named after Dalseo District in Daegu, also saw sales grow by 39 percent on Thursday and 68 percent the next day, compared to a week before.

Gangseo Mild Ale only showed 3 percent sales growth and Dalseo 5 percent on Wednesday, before the reception took off, CU data says.

As the first craft beer brewery to enter the Korean market, 7Brau introduced a range of beers named after actual places around the country. As stable job creation was one of the major issues discussed at the dinner meeting, the fact that all of 7Brau’s employees are permanent workers also added to consumer interest in the company.

Shinsegae Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin, one of the participants at the presidential reception on Thursday, commented, “The beer tasted good,” through his Instagram.

“Boosted by positive feedback of the beer and the company, sales of related products are increasing,” a spokesperson from BGF Retail, the operator of CU convenience stores, said. “7Brau was able to raise its brand awareness through the event and consumers that didn’t know very much about the brand are now looking for the [company’s beer.]”

Sales of food company Ottogi’s products are also showing growth.

At CU, sales of the retailer’s “Ottogi Sesame Ramen” cup noodle grew by 13 percent on Thursday and 16 percent on Friday. Another Ottogi cup noodle “Spaghetti” also saw sales increase by 15 percent and 19 percent for the two days the reception was held.

Ottogi hit the headlines on July 23 when news spread that its CEO Ham Young-joon would be invited to the Blue House meeting along with leaders of some of Korea’s biggest businesses such as Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor.

Ottogi, though it is not listed among the top 100 companies in Korea, was selected due to its reputation for treating its employees fairly, which is in line with the Moon Jae-in administration’s goals.

With the popularity of Ottogi’s Jin Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup and the company’s decision to freeze its prices unlike competitors such as Korea’s largest noodle maker Nongshim, the midsize food company is constantly ramping up its market share in the noodle market.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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