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This article is about the soju brand. For the Starcraft II player who goes by the alias Jinro, see Jonathan Walsh.
Founded 1924
Headquarters Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Key people
Park Moon-deuk, President
Products soju
Website [1]

HITE-Jinro (hangul: 하이트진로 Hanja: 眞露, Korean pronunciation: [tɕilo]) is a distiller in South Korea, founded in 1924. It is the world's leading producer of soju, accounting for more than half of that beverage's domestic sales. It also manufactures a variety of other alcoholic beverages including red wine and whiskey. Distilleries are located in Icheon, Cheongwon, and Masan, with the Masan plant geared toward exports. In addition, Jinro produces the Soksu brand of bottled water at a factory in Cheongwon. Jinro has been involved in exporting since 1968, when it began shipping soju to Vietnam in the midst of the Vietnam War.[citation needed]

Jinro soju is known by the brand name Chamisul (hangul: 참이슬). Part of their marketing strategy is to use temperature sensitive paper on their bottle label. A tab in the shape of a frog (the company's mascot) is white when the bottle is warm and becomes blue when the bottle is cold, indicating that the soju is ready to drink.

The company's current president is Moon Deuk Park.[citation needed]

In 2006, the company was acquired by Hite,[1] a popular beverage company whose main product is beer.

The target for 2014 sales are 2.2049 trillion won, with an operating profit of 4.876 billion won; as a result, HiteJinro is expected to be the first liquor company in Korea to surpass 2 trillion won in sales.

Jinro has been named the top-selling spirit in the world in the Millionaires' Club 2016, after selling 73.8m 9-litre last year. [2]



  • Hite
  • Max
  • Dry Finish d
  • Stout
  • S


  • Chamisul
  • Chamisul Classic
  • Chamisul Nature
  • IlpumJinro
  • Chamisul Damgeumjoo
  • Ssodal


  • Kingdom
  • Cutt Sark


  • HiteJinro wine

Other Types of Liquor[edit]

Subsidiary Brands[edit]

  • Seoksu natural mineral water
  • Puriss

Consumption and Impact on Korean drinking culture[edit]

Hitejinro’s product line which includes 6 beers, most notably the Hite label, 7 soju lines, to include the Korean favorite, Chamisul; 2 whiskey variations, and one wine, garnered them a sizeable market share. Hite Brewery Co., Ltd. is the leading player in the Korean alcoholic drinks market, generating a 50.2% share of these (Alcoholic Drinks Industry Profile: South Korea. 2014) Jinro's brand of soju is the biggest-selling spirit in the world, according to a survey by the UK-based Drinks International magazine, easily outselling vodka and whisky brands last year. (Bonamici, 2004) Average adult annual consumption of spirits in South Korea is 9.57 liters, the world’s highest, according to 2005 data from the World Health Organization published last year. (AFP RELAXNEWS, 2012) The Korean landscape of drinking has resulted in numerous street brawls, increased family violence and other crimes involving drinking. This prevalent problem is further exasperated due to very minimal government punishment when a crime is committed with alcohol (AFP RELAXNEWS, 2012) Due to these occurrences, Hite-Jinro has begun putting warning labels on bottles of Chamisul and Beer products with messages reading: "No more drunken violence! Let's improve wrong drinking culture!" (Wilkerson, 2012) "We felt tremendously responsible for social problems caused by drinking... we will help with efforts to change our drinking culture to a more positive one," said a sales manager at Hite-Jinro, quoted in Chosun Ilbo newspaper.

Expansion outside Korea[edit]

Soju sales are soaring and foreign companies are considering buying into one of the few Korean industries to relish the economic crisis. But outsiders face tough, patriotic competition. With HiteJinro’s most notable drink, Soju, it has quickly gained momentum and popularity as a vodka substitute. The spirit, which is distilled from rice, barley, and koji, has become a popular import; though, with the company operating in Russia, the US, South Korea, China and Japan, the Korean giant has begun setting its sights on India with a new bottling deal. (2013). Korean soju giant inks India bottling deal. The Times of India. Jinro actually went bankrupt in the Asian crisis of 1997, then it was bought by the Hite Corporation. (Financial Times 22 Dec 2008)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pernod Ricard Korea acquires remaining interest in Jinro Ballantines Co Ltd from Allied Domecq PLC". Alacra. 23 October 2005. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Jinro dominates top spirits list… again". Alacra. 25 May 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 

Alcoholic Drinks Industry Profile: South Korea. (2014). Alcoholic Drinks Industry Profile: South Korea, 1-28. Ahn Dae-hwan, Bonamici, K. (2004). Soju: the new vodka. Fortune, 150(7), 50. AFP RELAXNEWS. (2012, July 12). S. Korean soju and beer labels warn against drunken violence. Retrieved from Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/s-korean-liquor-labels-warn-drunk-violence-article-1.1113811 Wilkerson, M. (2012, July 12). South Korea: Let's Improve Wrong Drinking Culture! Retrieved from The Fix: http://www.thefix.com/content/south-korea-drinking-violence90381 Korean soju giant inks India bottling deal. (2013, April 29). Times of India. Jung-A, Song, and Christian Oliver. "Koreans drown economic sorrows in soju." Financial Times 22 Dec. 2008: 16. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.

External links[edit]