Endeavor Group’s BWS and Dan Murphy stores have doubled the range of Asian drinks following an increase in customer demand, now offering over 100 drinks to choose from.
Sales data from Endeavor Group showed Korean beverages to be a dominant trend, with soju posting one of its strongest year-over-year growth performances.
Endeavor Group’s Asian beverage sourcing manager Samuel Lam said customers are increasingly looking to discover exciting new beverages to try.
Soju dates back to the 13th century and accounts for 97% of South Korea’s liquor market.
“Australians enjoy Korean drinks like Soju and Makgeolli, which coincides with the growing interest in Korean cuisine as well as South Korean pop culture.
“It’s the variety of flavors that really makes the drink popular. You can experience everything from blueberry to lychee to Americano,” Lam said.
Makgeolli is one of Korea’s oldest alcoholic beverages. It is a slightly fizzy drink made from rice, water and a starter known as nuruk. In Korea, Makgeolli can be ordered on tap in small ceramic bowls.
Japan’s national alcoholic beverages Sake and Shochu are popular in Australia, with sales of Shochu nearly doubling at BWS and Dan Murphy’s in the past twelve months.
“Customers turn to Shochu because it has a unique flavor and is a spirit that can be enjoyed in many different ways. It also tends to have a lower ABV (alcohol by volume) and calories than other spirits,” Lam said.
Shochu can be made from a range of vegetables and grains, which means a wide variety of flavors can be explored. For example, Koji, a type of mushroom, is used in the fermentation process, giving Shochu a unique umami flavor, often described simply as “tasty”.
Sake also remains popular in Australia, among the new sakes available in Endeavor Group stores is Junmai Daiginjo sake – the most premium expression of the drink.
Endeavor Group will add twelve more sakes to its retail stores in July, nearly doubling the current lineup.