Marco Costales Comments On Soju Distribution Dispute In Los Angeles Business Journal

08.03.2015
Los Angeles Business Journal
Marco Costales was quoted in the August 3rd Los Angeles Business Journal article "Liquor Maker Faces Sobering Distribution Reality."  In the article, Mr. Costales discusses the challenges that Jinro America (the U.S. subsidiary of South Korea-based soju producer Hite Jinro Co.) will face if it wins its legal fight to sever ties with its current California distributor, Hite USA.  As Mr. Costales mentions in the article, one of the challenges that Jinro America could face in its search for a new distributor is the fact that soju (while the most popular spirit in the world) "has not taken off [in the United States] in the way a lot of folks thought it might."  Additionally, Mr. Costales notes that the U.S. beverage distribution industry has seen tremendous consolidation over the past couple of decades, which means that Jinro America has only a handful of potential distribution partners. Mr. Costales is quoted as saying "[T]he challenge for [Jinro], in addition to the popularity aspect, is to try and convince these big distributors to include their product as part of their portfolios.  There might be a few smaller distributors these guys could approach, but they won't have the same bargaining power."

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