16 January 2020

KIBEX 2020: Optimized bridgehead to the Korean beer market

Exhibition | The Korea International Beer Expo (KIBEX) 2020 will be held on 19-21 March 2020 at the aT Center in Seoul. It is the only beer-specialized trade fair in Korea, where visitors can see and experience all businesses in the value chain of the beer industry in one place, from production to distribution and packaging to the consumption of beer.

KIBEX is co-hosted by Beer Post, a company specializing in beer ingredients, and GMEG, a trade fair organizer.

The first KIBEX, held in March 2019, involved companies such as breweries, mechanical engineering companies as well as raw material and ingredient suppliers from seven countries around the world. The event was held in a prosperous atmosphere with more than 1000 visitors. In particular, B2B networking and businesses were actively pursued and so successful that more than 90 % of the companies could hope to participate again.

Exhibition size doubled

KIBEX 2020 has more than doubled its exhibition size compared to the previous event and the number of participating countries will increase significantly. From the United States, where craft beer is booming, to Germany, Great Britain and Belgium – the traditional great powers of beer –, including China with its global beer market as well as the Southeast Asian countries where the craft beer market is in full swing. With the participation of international beer experts, KIBEX 2020 is to establish itself in name and reality as an international beer fair.

In addition, two further events will take place at the same time: The Korea International Beer Awards (KIBA) – the first international beer competition in Korea – awaits more than 300 beer styles from home and abroad to participate. It is expected to be an authentic competition with local beer experts and 30 foreign beer experts as judges. The International Beer Conference is designed to share beer expertise. Well-known beer experts from all over the world will be speaking and reflecting on global beer market trends.

Change in Korean alcohol tax system

KIBEX 2020 is particularly noteworthy because it takes place before the major change in the Korean alcohol tax system. In Korea, the method of levying beer taxes will be changed for the first time in 50 years. It will shift from the price-based tax system to the volume-based tax system. This lowers the beer tax to 830 won per litre. So far, taxes have been so high that they make up about half the price of the beer. Experts believe that this change will make the beer market experience a major revolution as the system lowers the price barrier for craft beer.

The Korean beer market is currently dynamic with the number of craft beer breweries increasing by more than 100 in four to five years. With a favorable tax base in the future, craft beer’s market share, which has remained at 1 to 2 %, is expected to explode to 10 %.

Entering the Korean market

At this point, KIBEX 2020 offers the opportunity build a new business. KIBEX organizers said that the 2020 edition would be a bridgehead for suppliers of raw materials and draft beer systems as well as breweries to enter the Korean market with explosive growth. They also noted that they would be an international network platform for finding business in the Asian market beyond Korea.

KIBEX has also signed a marketing agreement with BrauBeviale, Germany, and became a member of Beviale Family ranging with international beer exhibitions. KIBEX is setting down as a global exhibition that enables visitors to meet the key players in beer industry. KIBEX is part of a network with global platforms and spreads the importance of the Korean beer market in the world.

For more information about KIBEX 2020, please visit www.beerexpo.kr.

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