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[Coronavirus] Epidemic prompts alcoholic drink aficionados to drink at home

By Park Sae-jin Posted : March 26, 2020, 11:09 Updated : March 26, 2020, 11:09

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- Instead of drinking Soju, a favorite distilled liquor made with potatoes, or a glass of ice-chilled beer straight from the tap, South Korea's acoholic drink aficionados shunned bars and restaurants and chose to enjoy their favorite drink in homes.

At weekdays, bars and restaurants have been filled with people drinking after work. However, the scene has changed since a coronavirus epidemic hit South Korean in January. People rushed to their homes straight after work, leaving restaurants nearly empty. Deliverymen got busier due to a spike in food delivery orders.

According to BGF Retail, the operator of South Korea's convenience store chain CU, liquor sales in March rose 20 percent on-year in March. The increase is larger than the annual average sales growth rate of 9.9 percent in 2018 and 12.3 percent in 2019.

Sales of hangover-chasing products fell 22.5 percent on-year. CU attributed the drop to people returning home early.

Hangover-chasing food or products are favored by drinkers after a night of hard-drinking. A bowl of spicy beef stew used to be favored as an iconic hangover chaser. Now, a dozen kinds of drink-type hangover chasers are available at supermarkets and convenience stores.

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