Malt Whisky Society in South Korea franchise deal

Edinburgh-based Artisanal Spirits Company plc (ASC), owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS), announce that SMWS has signed a new franchise agreement with F.J. Korea (FJK) in South Korea, Asia’s fourth largest economy. 

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has a worldwide membership of just over 36,000 paying members.

“South Korea is the tenth largest market within the global Ultra-Premium Scotch Malt Whisky sector, based on value, and was estimated to be worth c. US$161 million in 2021, an increase of 65% vs 2020 …” said Artisanal.

“This represents an entirely new market for SMWS which has not had a presence in South Korea to date.

“F.J. Korea is the fourth largest liquor distributor in South Korea with a strong presence at over 2,000 on-trade venues and a wide national network base in key locations such as Seoul.

“In association with FJK, SMWS plans to recruit new members in the region through the SMWS website, digital marketing and social media activity, as well as physical, in person partner bar and live marketing initiatives such as whisky festivals and tasting events.”

Artisanal Spirits Company MD David Ridley said: “I am delighted to announce this exciting collaboration as ASC continues to progress its strategy to expand its presence in key international whisky markets, adding South Korea to our growing footprint. 

“This further establishes our operations in Asia – one of the fastest growing whisky regions in the world.

“We look forward to collaborating with F.J. Korea whose existing brand portfolio is highly complementary to SMWS’ premium whiskies. 

“FJK has committed to grow the SMWS brand for the long term, pledging a dedicated team to focus on our brands and member recruitment in in this new market.

“This further underpins our approach to seeding and expanding our growing presence in key international markets and the exciting potential we believe the Asia region continues to represent for ASC within the context of our international growth plan.”