OB to cut Cass factory price ahead of tax revision

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OB to cut Cass factory price ahead of tax revision

Oriental Brewery on Monday announced a plan to cut down the factory price of Cass beers ahead of a revised alcohol tax that will go into effect next year.

The beer maker will lower the price of Cass by an average 4.7 percent starting Oct. 21.

The decision was made in consideration of the tax revision on alcoholic beverages that will start taking effect next year, according to Oriental Brewery. The government adjusted the tax on beer to be based on volume and content instead of the cost of production.

The factory price for a 500-milliliter (16.9-ounce) glass bottle of Cass will stand at 1,147 won ($1.03), down from the current 1,203 won. The company said it will sell the beer at the reduced price by late 2020.

“We expect domestic beers to enjoy improved competitiveness following the revised law that is expected to activate the production of domestic beers,” said a spokesperson for Oriental Brewery in a statement. “We have decided to preemptively lower the price to encourage the adoption of the revised law and to create an opportunity to revive domestic beers.”

The decision comes six months after the company in April raised the factory price of its beers, including Cass.

The company says it decided to lower the factory price ahead of the revised alcohol tax regulation, but some argue the move has been affected by the massive popularity of rival Hite Jinro’s Terra beer, released in March.

Hite Jinro sold 100 million bottles of Terra in the first 100 days after its launch. It saw a particular boost as drinkers turned to domestic beers over the summer when Japanese beer sales plummeted as relations soured between the two neighboring countries.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]
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