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Food News Clipping

November 30 - December 4, 2020


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Friday, December 4, 2020

For Coverage: November 30 ~  December 4, 2020


Popeyes Korea Closes Business

Summary: TS Food & System, the Korean franchiser of Popeyes burger restaurants, announced on December 4 that Popeyes Korea closed business and was undergoing liquidation.  Popeyes Korea was established in 1994 but the business continued a decline in recent years.  Its sales in 2019 amounted to only 13 billion won ($11 million USD), down 31 percent from the previous year, with a net loss of 1.3 billion won ($1.1 million USD).


Samyang Food Obtains Vegan Certification on Its Popular Snack

Summary: Samyang Food, a leading snack processor in South Korea, reported on December 4 that its 'SaToBob' snack obtained a vegan certification from the Korea Vegan Certification Institute.  Samyang Food said that this popular snack is made from corn flour without any animal ingredients.


Korean Government Reports 2nd Outbreak of High-Pathogenic Avian Influenza This Winter

Summary: The Avian Influenza Management Center under the Korean government reported on December 2 that its testing confirmed a second case of high pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in an egg farm in Sangju city, Gyeongbuk province.  The government said that the virus type (H5N8) was the same as the first outbreak in Jeungeup city, Junbuk province.  The government has ordered emergency quarantine measures in and around the farm, including immediate depopulation of over half a million birds within a 3 kilometer radius.


Korean Won - U.S. Dollar Exchange Rate Dips Below 1,100 for the First Time in 30 Months

Summary: The value of the Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar on December 3 to reach 1,099 won per $1.  Market analysts commented that the Korean won - U.S. dollar exchange rate, which remained above 1,100 for the last 30 months, will likely stay under 1,100 for the coming months as the new U.S. government prefers a weaker U.S. dollar to boost the economy.


Two out of Three Koreans Intend to Resume International Travels Next Year if COVID-19 Vaccine Becomes Available

Summary: According to a recent consumer survey by TMON, an on-line shopping platform in South Korea, 64 percent of Koreans answered that they are willing to resume international travels next year if COVID-19 vaccines become available.  But another 35 percent of the people surveyed answered that they will not resume international travels next year even if COVID-19 vaccines become available because of potential health risks.


GS25 Convenience Store Introduces AI Delivery Robots

Summary: GS25, a leading convenience store franchise in South Korea, reported that its branch in LG Science Park building, Seoul started to operate a delivery robot.  GS25 said that office workers in the building may make on-line orders to the branch for convenient delivery services by the robot (free of charge).  The robot runs on an artificial intelligence program that locates the consumer in the building and maps the shortest delivery route.  GS25 will equip additional branches with the robot.


Korean Production, Consumption, and Facility Investment Down in October

Summary: According to the latest Monthly Industrial Activity Statistics released by the Korea National Statistics Office (NSO) on November 30, the Korean economy slowed down again in October due to an extended outbreak of COVID-19.  The NSO index of monthly growth in national production declined to 0 percent, the index for consumption fell to -0.9 percent, and the index for facility investment fell to -3.3 percent. 


Korean Economy Grew 2.1% in Q3

Summary: The Bank of Korea (BOK) reported that Korea’s Gross Domestic Production (GDP) grew 2.1 percent during the third quarter compared to the previous quarter.  The export sector led the growth, increasing 16 percent from the previous quarter.


Strawberry Season Returns ... Lotte Mart to Launch In-store Promotion on Dec. 3

Summary: Lotte Mart reported that it will launch an in-store promotion on new crop local strawberries from December 3.  The promotion will offer various varieties, including high-brix 'Golden Strawberries'.


MAFRA Confirms New Outbreak of Avian Influenza in a Local Farm

Summary: The Korea Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) reported on November 29 that a local duck farm in Jungeup city, Junbuk province tested positive for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) on November 28.  MAFRA said that it was the first outbreak of H5N8 type avian influenza in a local farm since March 2018.  MAFRA ordered emergency quarantine actions in and around the farm, including immediate depopulation of some 60,000 birds within a 3-kilometer radius from the farm and stand-still measures in all poultry farms within 10-kilometer radius for 30 days.


MAFRA Orders a Recall on Local Eggs for Pesticide Residue Violation

Summary: The Korea Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) ordered a market recall on fresh eggs distributed by a farm in Gosung, Gyeongnam province on November 27.  MAFRA explained that its inspection found a toxic pesticide residue in the eggs exceeding food safety limits.  MAFRA said that all eggs from the farm will be removed from the market and the farm will be subject to mandatory pesticide testing for 6 times.


BGF Retail Celebrates Opening of 15,000th CU Convenience Store

Summary: BGF Retail, a leading convenience store franchise in South Korea, reported that its 15,000th CU store opened on November 30.  BGF said that it took 30 years and one month to reach the 15,000th store opening.  


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