Hite Jinro is targeting the Philippine market

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Hite Jinro is targeting the Philippine market

Hite Jinro picked the Philippines as its next target market overseas.

The alcoholic drink manufacturer on Monday announced the upgrading of its presence in the country. It gained its business license in the Philippines in July and earned an import permit in October. The branch is built in Manila.

The Philippines branch is the company’s sixth overseas, after Japan, the United States, China, Russia and Vietnam.

Hite Jinro exported 13,000 boxes of Chamisul soju to the Philippines last month. Each box contains 30 360-milliliter bottles. Flavored soju, like Jinro Strawberry, which is especially well received in Southeast Asian countries, was among the exports.

Hite Jinro sees huge potential in the Philippines, due to the country’s large population and fast economic growth. The country has more than 100 million residents, making it the 13th most populous country in the world. It achieved 6.8 percent GDP growth in 2018.

According to Hite Jinro, the alcoholic beverage market is growing in line with general growth. Demand is centered on spirits, which has no added sugar and at least 20 percent alcohol by volume.

Since 2016, the company has been targeting Southeast Asian countries.

Hite Jinro exported its drinks to the Philippines through a local partner before establishing the branch. It recorded an average 27.2 percent on-year sales growth from 2015 through 2018 in the Philippines.

“After announcing plans to globalize soju, we started localizing drinks in Southeast Asian countries,” said a spokesperson for Hite Jinro.

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

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