Who is the Highball drinker in South Korea’s On Premise?

Recent consumer research conducted by CGA by NIQ, shows an increasing popularity of highball drinks in South Korea’s On Premise sector. Client Solutions Director, Jaepil Sohn, analyses the data while examining its correlation with the growing number of visits to On Premise establishments, and provides insights into how suppliers can capitalize on this promising opportunity.

To read the information in Korean, click here.


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23% of people in the South Korea On premise have purchased at least one Highball Drinks in the past month. The surge in popularity of highballs is in line with the growing preference for straightforward spirits and mixer drinks, contrasting with a somewhat declining trend in cocktail consumption.


Under 30% of patrons are opting for cocktails more frequently than they did six months ago, while a larger share (33%) are choosing spirits and mixer drinks during the same period. One of the primary drivers behind this shift is this category’s perceived better value, especially when compared to cocktails.


Once again, consumers also appreciate the extensive choices available within spirits and mixers when visiting On Premise venues: the availability of various brands at the bar, coupled with the consistent accessibility of spirits and mixer drinks, positions them as a reliable and versatile choice for Korean consumers.


CGA’s report indicate that the highball drinks category presents a multitude of prospects for suppliers, operators, and brands to capitalise on.


Client Solutions Director, Jaepil Sohn, said: “As Korean consumers are expected to further enhance their engagement with the On Premise scene, suppliers must strategically focus on the highball category and the increasing popularity of spirits and mixers serves to seize this opportunity. The highball segment has proven to be an appealing and lucrative category, and with its anticipated continued growth in 2024, there is significant potential for both suppliers and operators to expand sales and market share. To capitalise on this opportunity however, it becomes paramount to discern the factors that attract consumers to different flavours, venues, and brands within the highball category. Identifying and understanding these preferences will be vital in tailoring offerings that resonate with drinkers’ tastes, thereby ensuring a successful and sustained presence in the evolving landscape of the South Korean On Premise market.”


To read more, download the report here 


CGA by NIQ’s OPUS solution provides expert analysis of engagement with South Korea’s On Premise and is the ideal single-source solution for both short-term gains in category and channel share and long-term strategic planning. Bespoke research is also available to explore trends and category dynamics in greater detail.


To learn more about CGA’s capabilities across the On Premise and tailoring strategies to capitalize on the booming highball trend in South Korea, contact Jaepil Sohn.


Originally published in Global Drinks Intel Magazine

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