Market Information   >   Food News Clipping

Food News Clipping

July 21 - 24, 2020


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Friday, July 24, 2020

For Coverage: July 21 ~ 24, 2020


Home Plus Stages 'International Food Festival' Promotion Targeting People Not Traveling to Foreign Destinations for Summer Vacation

Summary: Home Plus, a leading hypermarket grocery retailer in South Korea, launched an 'International Food Festival' promotion on July 24 which will last until August 5.  Home Plus said the promotion targets consumers who used to travel to international destinations for summer vacation before COVID-19.  The promotion offers some 300 specialty foods imported from popular tourist destinations, including the United States, European countries, China, Taiwan and Vietnam.


Leading Food Companies Expand Care Food Business Targeting Silver Population

Summary: Leading Korean food companies are expanding their care food business targeting elderly consumers.  Korea will become an 'aged society' in the near future.  The share of the population that is 65 or older is increasing fast, and is expected to reach 20 percent.  In addition to general care foods for mass retail distribution, Korean care food processors intend to offer special diet packages catered to elderly consumers with specific nutritional needs or health concerns.  Processors are working closely with health institutions and government agencies to secure sustainable marketing channels to target consumers.  CJ Freshway has launched 'Angel Kits', care food meal packages, in partnership with a group of health institutions recently.  Lotte Food started its first care food business developed in partnership with an influential health institution in June. 


Tomato Prices Surge due to Extended Rainy Season

Summary: According to Korea Agro-Fishery Marketing Corporation (aT), the retail price of fresh tomatoes reached 3,941 won per kilogram in the week of July 23, 31 percent higher than average.  The strong price was due to reduced supply from local farms as the  rainy season this summer was much longer than normal.


Sauce Market Sales to Exceed 2 Trillion Won This Year

Summary: The sauce market in South Korea continues to grow robustly.  Retail sales of sauce products grew 35 percent over the last five years to reach 1.95 trillion won ($1.6 billion USD) in 2019.  The rapid growth is due to increased demand from the processing industry for various Home Meal Replacement (HMR) applications as well as premix sauce applications for restaurants.  Processing use accounts for 80 percent of sauce market demand.  Leading suppliers in the sauce market are large-scale local food processors, including Dongwon, Daesang, Ottogi, and SPC.


With COVID-19, Robot Cafés Becomes a New Norm

Summary: Dalcomm’s robot café ‘B:eat’ has opened its first store within an apartment located in Seoul Seongbuk-gu. This robot café has AI which enables customers to order their coffee online and receive a pickup alarm. By doing so they were able to greatly reduce the waiting time for customers, leading to high satisfaction in service. As COVID-19 continues, robot cafés are becoming a new norm, further stimulating the growth of ‘B:eat’. This year alone ‘B:eat’ opened twenty robot café in places like Emart, Hyundai Premium Outlet, and universities.


Korean Economy Declines -3.3% in 2Q … Lowest Growth since 1998

Summary: The Bank of Korea (BOK) reported that Korean Gross Domestic Production (GDP) totaled 447.9 trillion won ($373 billion USD) in the second quarter, down 3.3 percent from the previous quarter.  BOK said GDP growth was the lowest since 1998.  Weak performance in the export sector (-16.6 percent) and corporate investment (-2.9 percent) due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to the GDP decline.  On the other hand, consumption increased by 1.4 percent due to the government COVID-19 relief funds provided to all families.


Retailers Add More Self-Check-out Counters in Response to COVID-19 Concerns

Summary: As consumers demand 'non-contact' tools for COVID-19 concerns, retailer are adding self-check-out counters in their stores.  EMART has increased stores with self-check-out counters to 110 (78 percent) of its stores.  Lotte Mart has increased stores with self-check-out counters to 50 (42 percent) of its stores.  Convenience stores are introducing 'no sales clerk' stores.  GS25, a leading convenience store chain, reported that the number of its stores without any sales clerk reached 31 at the end of last month.  Additionally, 73 of GS25 stores run without a sales clerk during late night hours.


Bottled Water for Your Pets

Summary: Dongwoo Crystal offers 'Prana' bottled water for pets.  Dongwoo Crystal says this alkaline water is processed by a patent technology and provides health benefits to pets.


After COVID-19 … Who Will Grasp the ‘Big Rebound’

Summary: Although COVID-19 is still spreading throughout the world, countries trying to continue grow their economies will need to prepare for a post COVID-19 era.  According to SM C&C’s ‘After COVID-19’ report, consumption will recover once the pandemic is under control.  Some business and services sectors will do better than before which will lead to a big rebound. The big rebound is expected to be driven by ten consumption trends which are safety, individualism, gourmet at home, replacement market, education at home, non-face-to-face culture, increased online consumption, upgraded social media, non-face-to-face work, and domestic focus.  In particular, the strengthening individualism and gourmet at home will continue to drive growth in products related to cooking at home and home meal replacement.

Sales in Healthy Food are Rising With Jungbok Coming Up

Summary: With home meal replacements (HMR) gaining popularity due to COVID-19, food and retail companies are presenting healthy HMR products prior to Jungbok (July 26). According to online shopping site ‘G9’, sales of Ginseng Chicken Soup between June 9 and July 9 increased 28 percent compared to last year. This is because the HMR soup is easy to cook and cheaper than eating in restaurants. Besides Ginseng Chicken Soup, Jonggajip, Homeplus, CU, and E-mart24 are each coming up with their own healthy HMR products that consumers would want to eat on Jungbok.  (Jungbok is one of the hottest days of the year in Korea).


New Consumption Trends Emerge due to Extended Home Life Because of COVID-19 … Functional Foods, Home Gardening, Home Entertainment, Home Health Care

Summary: Korean consumers are adopting new consumption trends as their time at home increases significantly during the COVID-19 outbreaks.  Extended home life is leading to increased purchases of related products, including health functional foods, home gardening, home entertainment, and home health care.  Sales of home gardening plants in Lotte Mart increased by 40 percent in May compared to the same month last year.  Sales of home electronics in Shinsegae Department Store, including extra-large screen televisions,  increased by 14 percent during the first half this year.  Shinsegae Department Store also saw 102 percent sales growth for home health care products, including body massage machines and electronic stimulators, during this period.


Hyundai Department Store Stages 'Healing Café'

Summary: Hyundai Department Store reported that its Pangyo branch will stage a special "Healing Café' space on the 10th floor until August 9.  The healing café will provide five separate areas with summer vacation themes, including 'resort' and 'camping'.  Hyundai Department Store said that consumers will be able to relax and enjoy the summer themes in the café without traveling.



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