Send to

Oriental Brewery outpaces rivals in beer sales

Jan. 29, 2023 - 15:32 By Kim So-yeon
Oriental Brewery CEO Ben Verhaert (Oriental Brewery)

South Korea’s largest beer maker Oriental Brewery led last year’s domestic beer market, as the spirits market began to see signs of recovery after years of pandemic disruptions.

During the January to November period last year, OB topped beer sales here with a whopping 53.7 percent market share, the firm said in a Jan. 19 press release.

During the summer season, when competition in the market is extremely severe, the company posted a 53 percent growth in sales from June to August year-on-year, with its flagship brand Cass Fresh recording a 41.3 percent market share.

“We sincerely thank consumers for their continued support last year,” an OB official said in the release.

“In the new year, OB and Cass will work harder to upgrade taste, quality and consumer satisfaction that will match our reputation as the No. 1 beer company.”

OB was also buoyed by upbeat sales of alcohol-free beer products -- a burgeoning market here. Its top sellers, Cass 0.0, Budweiser Zero and Hoegaarden Zero, secured a combined 42.7 percent market share as of November last year.

Cass 0.0, a nonalcohol version of the top-selling Cass, showed rapid growth, posting more than 55 percent growth in on-year sales. In August, it was the bestselling alcohol-free beer in the market, OB said.

The company attributed the strong sales to its more diversified product lineup and continued efforts to better meet consumer demand. The company has launched new beer categories such as Cass White, the first wheat beer version, Hoegaarden Fruit Brew and Zero, and OMG, a premium low-malt grain beer.

As a 2022 FIFA World Cup official partner brand, OB also carried out promotional campaigns to boost sales. Cass launched the “Number Cass Package” campaign for consumers to pick numbered bottles to cheer on their favorite players and operated special pop-up pubs, called “Cass Play Pub,” in collaboration with local pub owners. Budweiser also released a limited edition package for the World Cup and held a fan festival to support the national soccer team.