Retail, Innovation and Manufacturing reporter for the NZ Herald

Moa spreads its wings in Korea

Moa's general manager Gareth Hughes said both domestic sales and export revenue were seeing considerable growth. Photo / Greg Bowker
Moa's general manager Gareth Hughes said both domestic sales and export revenue were seeing considerable growth. Photo / Greg Bowker

Craft beer brand Moa is tapping into the rapidly growing Korean beer market, with its first shipping container landing last month.

Research by Frost&Sullivan showed beer accounts for 45 per cent of all alcohol consumed in Korea and is the largest alcoholic sector in the country. It is also expected to continue to grow strongly in the coming years, with Moa general manager Gareth Hughes saying the opportunity was huge for the company.

"The [craft beer] market is 1 per cent, but what you're seeing is there's a number of local Korean craft breweries starting up so the health of a thriving local scene in conjunction with imported craft beer helps bring that market along," Hughes said.

"A lot of these stores have a good selection of craft beers and soon there will be Moa on the shelf.

"[Being from] New Zealand helps a lot because brand New Zealand has a high level of worth about it here and same in other parts of Asia, but there's a great appreciation for the premium nature of New Zealand products, and there's certainly a great opportunity for Moa and other New Zealand brands to leverage off the back of that."

According to Hughes, the number of Korean students studying offshore had helped boost international influence in Korea and its capital Seoul where Moa was first launching, but he said it was important for the company to promote the brand in what he said was an increasingly competitive environment.

"We're starting in a small concentrated area and as it grows we'll expand too, but Seoul is the heartbeat of the craft beer movement in Korea at the moment," Hughes said.

"We're speeding into the right channels and doing some events to promote [Moa] and grow our points of distribution throughout the market, so there's great opportunities in a number of places for us over here."

Korea is currently the thirteenth largest market by value for New Zealand's beverage exports, valued at around $14 million. Imported beers are around $209 million of the total beer market, and has been increasing 30 per cent year on year as demand for new and flavoursome beer trends.

- NZ Herald

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