South Korea is taking steps to create a unique brand for its domestically-produced alcoholic beverages by introducing the ‘K-Liquor’ brand for products exported overseas. This initiative aims to make it easier for global consumers to recognize and enjoy Korean alcoholic drinks.
To enhance the global competitiveness of traditional and small-scale alcoholic beverage manufacturers, the National Tax Service (NTS) has launched the K-Liquor Export Support Council in collaboration with industry stakeholders. The council will focus on building a cooperative ecosystem, with large corporations supporting the promotion of traditional and small-scale products during their own exports and engaging in collaborative marketing efforts.
To elevate the global reputation of Korean alcohol, the NTS has proposed four key support initiatives: branding, fostering a cooperative ecosystem, education and technical support, and improving access to services. In partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Korea Alcohol Industry Association, the NTS plans to brand Korean alcohol (K-Liquor, K-SSUL) through a public contest and pursue trademark registration.
The NTS will also enable the use of the K-brand label on exported alcoholic products, leveraging the popularity of K-content to boost global competitiveness. By fostering an ecosystem in which large corporations and small-scale enterprises coexist, traditional and small-scale alcohol manufacturers can benefit from the experience, know-how, and infrastructure of larger firms.
Regular ‘Export Promotion Seminars’ will be held, allowing small-scale enterprises to share the expertise of leading alcohol corporations and minimize trial and error when entering and expanding into overseas markets. In this process, large corporations will actively support the promotion of traditional and small-scale products during their exports and explore collaborative marketing with their export brands.
The NTS will also work to expand education and technical support for alcohol manufacturers, strengthening the current ‘Alcohol Manufacturing Academy’ program and collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to provide export expansion education, overseas issue response, and address industry concerns.
In particular, the NTS Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Support Center will expand technical support, including the development of domestic yeast strains and research on oak barrel aging methods. The center plans to supply the newly-developed powdered yeast, which has a 24-month shelf life at room temperature, to alcohol manufacturers during the first half of this year.
The NTS will proactively seek and address on-site issues experienced by traditional alcohol manufacturers and new pioneers in the alcoholic beverage sector, listening to industry opinions on regulations and improving aspects that are deemed unreasonable.