Kooksoondang Draught Makgeolli in Costco

From an article at Business Korea:

“‘Kooksoondang (CEO Bae Jung-ho) announced on Oct. 12 that it has started selling Kooksoondang Saeng Makgeolli at two stores of Costco in Hsinchu and Xizhi in Taipei, Taiwan, from Oct. 2. This is the first time for Korean rice wine makgeolli to sell in overseas Costco stores…

In particular, it is more meaningful to sell the product in Costco in Taiwan since it is a draught makgeolli, or saeng makgeolli, which is not pasteurized. Draught makgeolli costs more than pasteurized makgeolli to be distributed since it needs to be transported by refrigerated containers, but it has a unique taste and contains high levels of lactic acid and lactobacillus bacteria…

Kooksoondang Saeng Makgeolli was exported to 12 countries as of the first half of last year, but it is now exported to 15 countries this year, adding Guatemala and Cambodia. The major export items of the company are Kooksoondang Saeng Makgeolli and WooKookSaeng Makgeolli…

Kim Sung-joon, head of the overseas business team at Kooksoondang, said, ‘The fact that Kooksoondang Saeng Makgeolli is now selling at Costco stores overseas is meaningful, because Korean draught makgeolli has paved the way for export in large quantities. We are planning to expand the exports of draught makgeolli, which has a unique taste and selling points, in the future.’”

Read the whole article at Business Korea here.

THOUGHTS: This is the type of news story that is both wonderful and cringe-worthy at the same time. I say wonderful because I think any exposure for makgeolli on an international scale can have a lot of positives for the beverage and industry in general. However, leading with a product like Kooksoondang Saeng Makgeolli can potentially turn away more customers than bring them into the fold. That is, when you have a general population of consumers who are increasingly interested in not only quality products but also those made with all-natural ingredients, I’m guessing they are going to be, at best, underwhelmed by Kooksoondang. More importantly, this negative opinion may be extended to makgeolli as a whole.


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