Carbonated Alcoholic Drinks Popular Among Young Consumers
Alcoholic soft drinks with low alcohol content are gaining popularity especially among young consumers all around the world. In line with this trend, many alcohol producers are developing and launching various low-alcohol drinks. One such product that is drawing public attention these days is carbonated drinks. Sparkling wine, sparkling vodka, and sparkling soju (Korean distilled liquor) have gained a lot of fans. The carbonated products with 3 to 5% alcohol content and natural fruit flavors have won the hearts of many female consumers.
AngAng Co., Ltd., a medium-sized Korean agricultural company developing and selling sparkling wine, is now making a foray into the overseas markets. Its products are sold under the brand name SSOA. They come in two types of packaging: cans (355ml) and bottles (330ml), and contain 8.4 % of raw wine produced in Pocheon, Gyeonggi Province. AngAng lowers the alcohol contents to only 5% to reduce the burden on drinkers, and gives pep to the products with five natural fruit flavors?lime, grape, grapefruit, mango, and lemon.
According to Mr. Kim Doo-hwan, a senior manager of AngAng, the company is striving to develop various products that can appeal to consumers with natural fruit flavors and wine as a base liquor. He says, “SSOA are high-quality products containing 8.6% of the base wine, which is in contrast with similar products of other companies where the raw wine content is only 3 to 4%.”
Full-Scale Export of SSOA to China and Australia
To make inroads into overseas markets, AngAng has been consistently demonstrating its sparkling wines at international food exhibitions held in China and Southeast Asia. This allowed the company to build a reputation not only at home but also abroad. As a result, AngAng concluded several export contracts. Currently, it is negotiating with importers from the US, the Philippines, Australia, and Thailand.
The largest contract was signed with a Chinese company. The exclusive importer of Samdasoo (drinking water produced in Jeju Island), the Chinese company is going to purchase SSOA products also under an exclusive sales contract. In the beginning, AngAng will supply canned and bottled products worth USD 35,000 every month, and the volume will gradually increase over the next two years.
Mr. Kim says with pride: “We were able to obtain favorable contract conditions because the Chinese importer recognized the high quality of our products. The Chinese partner will carry out autonomous marketing activities to facilitate the sales in China.”
In China, the sparkling wine of AngAng will be distributed under the brand name ARIA in lieu of SSOA because SSOA is already registered in the country as a trademark of another company.
According to Mr. Kim, SSOA may have been registered by someone who encountered its products when AngAng participated in SIAL CHINA, an international food exhibition held in Shanghai two years ago. AngAng is not making a big deal of the issue, however: the new brand name is receiving a favorable response.
SSOA, Awarded Bronze at One of the World’s Top Three Competitions
An important factor in the attention SSOA enjoys overseas is the fact that the product received a prize at a world-famous alcoholic drink competition. It was awarded the bronze prize at the Monde Selection in Belgium in April, 2015. First held in Brussels, Belgium, in 1961, the Monde Selection is one of the world’s top three liquor contests and considered the highest authority in the field of alcoholic drinks. Some 70 experts or connoisseurs select winners based on impartial evaluations performed over four to five months.
Mr. Kim explains: “AngAng’s products won the grand prize in the “other liquors” section of the Korea Liquors Contest held by the Korean government in 2014. The liquor that came in first in each category obtained the right to participate in a world liquor contest. That’s how AngAng was qualified to appear in a world liquor contest and obtained a good result there as well.”
The record of success in liquor contests is now translating into an increasing volume of exports. The company’s export goal for next year is USD 2 million.
Contributes to Local Economy by Using a Local Specialty, Wine of Pocheon
AngAng is a subsidiary of a makgeolli (unrefined Korean rice wine) company located in Pocheon, Gyeonggi Province. It was established four years ago when makgeolli, a traditional Korean wine variety, was suffering from the recession both at home and abroad, and the parent company decided to develop a new, lucrative product. In the process of seeking a way to utilize local agricultural products, the company came about grapes cultivated in Pocheon. The grape wine used for SSOA is made only with the grapes harvested in Pocheon, and approximately 20 tons of the fruit were used for the products last year.
According to Mr. Kim, SSOA products acquired a license as a local specialty liquor, and thus qualifies for a tax reduction. It works advantageously in the price competition against other alcoholic drinks, and AngAng is now negotiating with large discount stores and convenience stores to secure a presence there.
The SSOA sparkling wine is the outcome of one year of research and development (R&D) effort taken in cooperation with a research team of the food science department of Daejin University in Pocheon. A blind taste test targeting the university’s students revealed that they preferred SSOA to other alcoholic drinks.
Mr. Kim said, “We are confident that our high-quality products containing 8.6% of wine are different from others in the market. Our importers also appreciate the distinctive red color of the products. We anticipate that increasing sales of SSOA products will contribute to the prosperity of Pocheon farmers and the local economy.”
AngAng Co., Ltd
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