Sips, Trends, and Tech: South Korea’s On-Premise Secrets to Soaring Success in 2024

Suppliers and operators can generate strong sales growth in South Korea’s On Premise in 2024—but only if they innovate and respond to consumers’ priorities.

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CGA by NIQ’s latest Consumer Pulse report reveals sizeable pressure on consumers’ spending in South Korea’s bars and restaurants lately. While 89% of consumers have been out to eat in the last month, this is down from 92% in November. The number of people drinking out slipped from 51% to 44%. 


Footfall is likely to remain challenging, as 22% of consumers plan to visit venues less often over the next 12 months—slightly more than the 20% who intend to go out more often. Increases in the cost of living and menu prices are the top two reasons why people are going out less. Well over half (58%) of consumers who are spending less per visit say they are watching what they spend, while 29% are choosing cheaper options to save money. 


Despite the strain on people’s spending, there is likely to be significant potential for growth in some categories in 2024. These include wine, which 30% of consumers say they are excited to try, followed by beer (25%) and whiskey (22%).  


Opportunities are also emerging in no and low alcohol categories. Well over a quarter (29%) of consumers say they will be moderating their alcohol consumption this year, and nearly half (47%) find the concept of low-alcohol whiskey appealing. 


CGA’s research also shows consumers will be chasing fresh and unique experiences in 2024. Well over a third (37%) say they are looking forward to new and exciting experiences, and 33% look forward to trying new and exciting drinks. 


Innovative use of technology will be another key to unlocking growth. Around a quarter (26%) of consumers say they are looking forward to advances in digital ordering systems like tablets, and there is interest in innovations like robot servers (23%) or menus enhanced by Virtual or Augmented Reality (18%). 


CGA’s Consumer Pulse report is a monthly temperature check of trading in South Korea’s bars and restaurants, delivering exclusive insights into the people who eat and drink out. It helps drinks suppliers, operators and other On Premise stakeholders stay on top of users’ preferences and intentions and respond fast to opportunities. 


Jaepil Sohn, CGA by NIQ’s client solutions director, South Korea, said: “South Korea’s bars and restaurants are hugely popular, but it’s clear that many consumers will be watching their spending very closely in 2024. That makes it more important than ever to understand precisely what they want and deliver experiences that exceed their expectations. Identifying under-served categories early, and filling them with good-value and high-quality products, is key to growth. Innovation will be another essential tactic, and venues and suppliers that collaborate to lead the way in technology can achieve a crucial head start in the competition for sales and share.” 


Click here to download the latest Consumer Pulse report for free. To learn more about CGA’s research solutions and how they support winning strategies in South Korea’s On Premise, contact Jaepil Sohn at 

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