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Beer Consumption Amount Changes According to Economic State

Beer Consumption Amount Changes According to Economic State

Posted January. 02, 2005 22:35,   


It has been shown that when the economy is weak, people tend to go for soju, but when the economy is doing well, people go for beer.

According to the Statistic Office on Sunday, beer consumption in 2003 per adult over the age of 19 was 53.1L, 3.3 percent lower than the previous year (54.9L). However, the demand for soju increased by 5.7 percent from 24.6L to 26.0L.

Beer consumption per person from 1983∼2003 increased 81.2 percent from 29.3L to 53.1L. Meanwhile, during the same period, soju consumption meagerly increased from 24.7L to 26.0L.

The changes in the consumption amount of beer and soju have shown relevance to the state of the economy.

While beer consumption was merely 32.5L during 1987, with the Olympic Games being held in Seoul in 1988 and the economy experiencing a second take-off stage, the amount increased to 38.1L in 1988, 46.1L in 1990, and 53.0L in 1992.

However, as the economy went through the financial crisis and a skyrocketing unemployment rate, beer consumption decreased sharply to 46.7L in 1998, increasing again to 50.8L in 2000 as the economy recovered, and again to 54.9L in 2002.

Meanwhile, soju consumption was 24.7L until 1996, no big change, and it rapidly increased to 26.4L in 1998, 25.4L in 2000, and then decreased to 24.6L in 2002.

A person in the liquor business said, “Since soju is cheap and has a bitter taste, it sells well when people don’t have much money and are having a hard time, but since beer is relatively expensive and refreshing, it sells well during a favorable economic state.”

Chang-Won Kim changkim@donga.com