South Korea's second largest brewer Oriental Brewery Co. has launched a lower-alcohol beer in an attempt to increase its market share in the lucrative Korean beer market.

According to local reports, Oriental's new product will hit the shelves at 4.2% abv, well below the alcohol level of 4.5% that is the norm for beer in the country.

Currently, Oriental Brewery Co has 40% of the market, while its big competitor Hite has the remaining 60%, and Oriental sees its new product as offering an unusual point of difference. But the country's market leader seems unlikely to follow the lower-alcohol route.

"Lowering the [alcohol] level is meaningless," said an official at Hite. "We do not plan to develop a new product with a low alcohol content."