Endeavour Group banners BWS and Dan Murphy’s have doubled their range of Asian beverages in stores following an increase in customer demand.
Endeavour Group Asian Beverages sourcing manager Samuel Lam said consumers are increasingly keen to discover more new and interesting drinks.
“Drinks made in Asia are particularly popular among premium customers, especially Zoomers and Millennials,” he said.
Korean drinks are leading the trend, with soju having enjoyed one of its strongest year-on-year growth performances in Endeavour stores.
“Soju dates back to the 13th century and accounts for 97 percent of the South Korean liquor market,” the retailer said.
“It has attracted global attention after being featured in Squid Game, and ‘Glass of Soju’ from movie Parasite was nominated for Best Original Song at the 92nd Academy Awards 2020.”
Lam said the interest in soju and makgeolli – a lightly sparkling drink that is made from rice – coincides with the growing popularity in Australia of Korean food and South Korean pop culture.
“Makgeolli shows up in many K-dramas, which is why we are seeing some great interest in this uniquely flavoured drink,” he said.
“It is the variety of flavours that really makes this much-loved beverage popular. You can discover everything from blueberry or lychee to Americano!” \
Meanwhile, Japanese beverages are also growing in popularity, with sales of shochu having almost doubled in BWS and Dan Murphy’s in the last 12 months.
“Shochu is an ancient Japanese spirit that can be made from a range of vegetables and grains, which means there is a wide variety of flavours to be explored,” said Lam.
“Koji, a type of fungus, is used in the fermentation process that can give Shochu a unique umami flavour, often described simply as ‘savoury’.
“[Shochu] can be enjoyed on its own or on the rocks with its mild sweetness, or you can add your favourite mixer to it.”
Endeavour Group will also add another 12 sakes to its retail stores in July, almost doubling its sake range.
Six of these new sakes are junmai daiginjo grade, the most premium expression of sake priced at between $40 to $150.