|Cass beer sold on JD.com|
South Korea’s Oriental Brewery (OB) will start using the sales network of its parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) to sell its flagship Cass beer in China starting the second half of 2014. AB InBev is the third biggest brewer in China with a market share of 14.1% in 2013.
According to the Chosun Ilbo article, “If we take advantage of this network, we think we can fare well in China,” said OB CEO Jang In-soo on 10 July 2014. Indeed, OB, using AB InBev sales network in China, will give it better control of the supply network. At the moment, Cass beer is sold in China through the country’s numerous online stores with the beer directly imported from South Korea by individuals or companies with no relations with OB.
The latest move by OB is belated but still commendable as the eating fried chicken with beer (usually Korean beer) phenomenon made famous by the South Korean drama You Came from the Star is still going strong in China.
Yours truly has mentioned this in the posting Time for Beer and Fried Chicken dated 7 March 2014 calling for South Korean beer companies to renew their push into the Chinese market to tap the fried chicken with beer trend. Let’s see if Cass is able to make itself the beer for fried chicken-beer consumption in China and successfully marketing itself as the beer for young consumers longing for the Korean lifestyle.