South Korea's economy may be on the brink of a deflationary spiral amid near-zero wage growth, but consumers are still spending big on one item: alcohol.
Drinking among Korean adults rose to a record high in 2014, local media reported on Tuesday citing a new government survey. On average, 60.8 percent of Korean adults drank once or more every month in 2014, up from 54.1 percent in 2008.
The survey matched data in February showing household spending on alcohol hit a record high in 2014.
Asia's fourth-largest economy is well known internationally for its boozy reputation. A report from Euromonitor last year showed Koreans of drinking age consumed 13.7 shots of liquor per week on average, the highest in the world and more than double of what Russians - the second biggest drinkers on the list - consume.
Soju, a distilled rice liquor, is the country's most popular alcoholic beverage and sales are soaring.
Hite-Jinro, a soju maker with 47 percent market share, is one of the industry's top winners. One of the company's brands, Ilpoom soju, saw sales increase nine fold from 2006 to 2013, the Wall Street Journal reported last year. Its Jinro brand was also named the world's best-selling spirit by industry watcher Drinks International last year.