Market shares of leading beer companies based on retail revenue South Korea 2020
Oriental Brewery sells the popular beer brand Cass, which was the leading beer brand in South Korea in 2019, as well as a number of other top selling mainstream beers, like OB Golden Lager and Cafri. The company also distributes international brands like Beck’s, Löwenbräu, Budweiser, and Hoegaarden. In 2021, Oriental Brewery saw an operating profit of close to 262 billion South Korean won, being on a constant decline since years. OB was originally founded by Doosan Group in 1952 and is currently owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV. AB InBev is a multinational company that sells more than 500 beer and soft drinks brands.
Craft beer vs mainstream beer
While mainstream companies in South Korea still focus to sell beer to the masses, typically light lager beer, a growing number of consumers are turning to try other kinds of beers. In a survey in 2020, around 61 percent of beer drinkers stated that they have tried craft beer before. In the same survey around 75 percent of respondents stated that they thought craft beer was interesting because of the variety they offer compared to mainstream beer. More than half of surveyed consumers in a different survey in 2019 went as far as saying that craft beer tasted better than regular beer. The current trend towards craft beer and the change in beer tastes might change the market and therefore the reputation of South Korean beers to be of low quality.