A customer browses in the alcoholic beverage section at a discount mart in Seoul on Wednesday. The imported whiskey market has grown 58 percent since 2019 mainly due to the growth in the number of whiskey drinkers.
Nothing says holiday in Korea more than a bottle of soju — or more than one. But as the Chuseok harvest holiday approaches, retailers like Homeplus are pushing the soju bottles to the back row in favor of Western whiskeys.
Mr. Park, who enjoys a drink or two after work, was surprised recently to notice the relatively low prices on whiskey and bourbon at his local Emart. “To be honest, cheaper whiskies taste no different from premium whiskies."