Collaboration new marketing strategy in Korea’s alcohol industry
Published : May 27, 2022 - 17:47
Updated : May 27, 2022 - 17:47
A product image of “Kooksoondang Chilsung Maksa,” a collaborative product between Lotte Chilsung Beverage and Kooksoondang Brewery (Kooksoondang Brewery)
Food companies are seeking to cooperate together within the industry to appeal to the younger generation who have become an important consumer demographic.

Lotte Chilsung Beverage, the beverage unit of South Korean conglomerate Lotte Group, said Friday it would launch a makgeolli-flavored soft drink product in collaboration with Korean traditional liquor company Kooksoondang Brewery, starting Wednesday.

Makgeolli cider, or “maksa” for short, is a cocktail of Korean rice wine called makgeolli and a lemon-lime-flavored soft drink that Koreans often call “cider.”

This is not the first time a maksa product was commercialized. It was previously launched in 2021 by South Korean retailer GS25 and in 2016 by another local retailer Homeplus. 

An advertisement poster of the makgeolli milkshake launched in collaboration between SPC Group and Seoul Jangsoo (SPC Group)
Korean food company SPC Group also said Thursday that it has partnered with local traditional Korean makgeolli brewery house Seoul Jangsoo to launch a non-alcoholic makgeolli milkshake through SPC Group’s coffeehouse-to-bakery brand Paris Baguette.

“Makgeolli is being rediscovered among the Millennial and Gen Z as a trendy drink,” said a Paris Baguette official, referring to customers in their 20s and 30s.

“We will continue to collaborate with diverse brands to provide special experiences for our Millennial and Gen Z customers,” the official added.

Meanwhile, local alcoholic beverage enterprise HiteJinro launched a soju-based popsicle on the same day in collaboration with Korean food company Binggrae.

The popsicle is part of HiteJinro’s Isultoktok brand, a product line of soju-based drinks with low alcohol levels.

“The limited edition product was created to fulfill the needs of the Millennial and Gen Z customers who want to experience fun and novelty through their consumption,” said a HiteJinro official.

Companies are leveraging the launch of new products and inter-company collaborations as part of their marketing strategy to target Millennial and Gen Z consumers who have become an important consumer group in the food market, according to industry insiders.

“The food industry no longer seeks only cost efficiency, but now finds novelty, emotional appeal and the ‘fun factor’ more important,” professor Lee Chae-eun of Kwangwoon University said in a recent big data analysis report published in February.

”Collaborative products which add fun by sticking retro labels to new products seems to be a new corporate strategy.”

By Lee Seung-ku (