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Jeju Beer Company sales shoot up thanks to Japan boycott

Oct 05,2019
On the back of a boycott against Japan, Jeju Beer Company on Friday said its sales this summer more than doubled compared to the same period last year.

Affiliated with Brooklyn Brewery, Jeju Beer Company sells two beers -Jeju Wit Ale and Jeju Pellong Ale.

Sales of Jeju Beer Company’s Jeju Wit Ale last year jumped 9 percent in July and August compared to May and June in the same year. This year, however, sales in July and August skyrocketed 52 percent compared to May and June.

The local beer brand attributed its expansion of distributing retailers and the boycott on Japanese products as the reasons for the sales jump. The brewery claims it is the only craft beer maker in Korea to be distributed at more than 90 percent of discount marts and convenience stores.

The growing popularity of craft beer on top of the boycott has also helped sales. Koreans have been refusing to purchase Japanese products following Japan’s export restrictions against Korea in early July.

Asahi had been heavily hit by the boycott this summer. Asahi beer, which was the best-selling beer at local convenience stores, lost the No. 1 spot to Oriental Brewery’s Cass beer.

Lotte Liquor has also been affected by the boycott.

Lotte Liquor on Tuesday said in a statement that it will take legal action against “rumors that Japan’s Asahi has shares in Lotte Liquor.”

Lotte argued that some of its products have been highlighted as possible boycott items. The company said it either filed lawsuits or sent complaints on 20 cases of obstruction of business.

“Lotte Liquor is a Korean firm that operates seven factories in Korea, where 2,500 people work,” said a spokesperson for Lotte Liquor in a statement.

Asahi does not have shares in the conglomerate, but Lotte is the distributor of Asahi beer in Korea.

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