BTS Jungkook Effect Boosts Sales: This Whiskey Becomes Shinsegae L&B’s Top Seller

The representative bourbon whiskey "Evan Williams" has established itself as a profitable product distributed domestically by Shinsegae L&B

According to the industry on June 24th, Evan Williams, exclusively sold in Korea by Shinsegae L&B since 2021, became the top-selling item for the company last year. This success is attributed to the recent mixology trend, where beverages, fruits and other ingredients are combined with drinks like whiskey and highball. Evan Williams is more widely known for its use in highball rather than being consumed neat.

Evan Williams is a representative bourbon whiskey from the U.S. and the second best-selling product in the U.S. and globally. It is named after Evan Williams, who established the first commercial distillery in Kentucky, the home of bourbon whiskey.

According to Shinsegae L&B, Evan Williams’ sales grew by 144% year-on-year last year, making it the top-selling brand. In 2022, sales increased by 615% compared to its launch year in 2021. A Shinsegae L&B official commented, “Evan Williams is a case of achieving good results without significant marketing efforts. It was the best-selling product among over 1,600 items last year.

This growth aligns with the whiskey boom in Korea. According to the Korea Customs Service’s export-import trade statistics, whiskey imports last year totaled 30,586 tons, a 13.1% increase from the previous year, marking the highest figure since 2000 when related statistics were first recorded. Bourbon whiskey imports, in particular, saw a 30.9% increase to 2,607 tons, the highest growth rate among all whiskey types.

Evan Williams gained additional attention when BTS’s Jungkook recommended it. Last year, Jungkook introduced Evan Williams as a whiskey that is good to drink with a highball on the fandom live platform Weverse, leading to it being dubbed “Jungkook’s whiskey”.

Shinsegae L&B has introduced three flavored whiskeys (Apple, Honey, Fire) reflecting last year’s whiskey popularity trend, in addition to the standard Evan Williams Black. They plan to expand with new flavors like Peach and Cherry this year.

Shinsegae Food is also enhancing the utility of Evan Williams by incorporating it into their menu. Their pub Devil’s Door launched a large-capacity Evan Williams highball last year and recently introduced six new highball varieties (Original Black, Sangria, Honey Grapefruit Whiskey, Apple, Fire Cock and Honey Beer).

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