Market Information   >   Food News Clipping

Food News Clipping

August 5 - 7, 2020


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Friday,  August 7, 2020

For Coverage: August 5 ~  7, 2020


Consumers Shop Organic Foods Mainly for Safety Concerns, KCA

Summary: The Korea Consumer Agency (KCS) reported outcomes of its 'Organic Shopper Survey 2019' on August 7.  KCS surveyed 1,200 shoppers in three leading organic grocery store chains (JaYounDeRim, HanSalim, ChoRokMaEul).  Shoppers responded that food safety concerns was the leading reason (59.3 percent) for shopping for organic foods, followed by good quality (28.9 percent) and good flavor (3.8 percent).  Only 0.8 percent of the shoppers replied that the price was reasonable.  Fresh vegetables were the most purchased organic foods (70.3 percent), followed by livestock products (56.1 percent), and fruits (51.8%).  Eight percent of the shoppers said they experienced faulty products.


Convenience Stores Report Weak Profits due to COVID-19 Impact

Summary: GS retail and BGF retail, leading players in the convenience store industry, reported that their 2nd Quarter operating profits declined by 23 percent and 27 percent respectively compared to the same quarter last year.  They explained that extended social distancing for COVID-19 resulted in weak sales in stores, particularly in tourist and school areas.


ROK resumes humanitarian aid to DPRK with the value of $10 million  through WFP

Summary: Minister Lee of MOU made a decision to resume humanitarian aid worth of  $10 million  to DPRK through WFP, supporting infant and pregnant women with nutritious food of 9,000 MT and vulnerable social group with food grains of 3,600 MT worth of $ two million.  ROK plans to transmit the money to WFP next week.


Coupang to Expand On-line Restaurant Meal Order-Delivery Business

Summary: Coupang, the leading on-line retailer in South Korea, is investing further in its on-line restaurant meal order-delivery service platform, Coupang Eats, with the goal of becoming the market leader.  As a result, the number of monthly orders serviced grew quickly this year from 220,000 in January to 550,000 in June this year.  Although Coupang Eats takes a minor share of the market, marketers expect that Coupang Eats will grow sharply in coming months considering Coupang’s aggressive investment and marketing programs.  Currently, the on-line restaurant meal order-delivery market is led by Baemin and Yogiyo.  Baemin and Yogiyo serviced 11.4 million orders and 6.6 million orders in June respectively.


U.S. Beer Gains the Most Market-share in Imported Beer Market

Summary: According to the Korea Customs Service, Korea's beer imports in 2020 through June totaled $112 million.  The U.S. took the leading share with 18 percent.  Japan and China who led the market in 2019 lost significant amounts of market share.  The background behind the shift in the imported beer market was the boycott of Japanese products, COVID-19, and AB InBev.  Anti-Japan sentiment started in July 2019 and Japan’s beer exports to Korea plunged as a result.  China is recognized as an epicenter of COVID-19 among Korean consumers and demand for Chinese beer is on a decline as a result. AB InBev Korea has beefed up its Budweiser program since 2018 and continues to lead solid growth in U.S. beer imports into Korea.

Price of Fresh Produce Surges due to Extended Rainy Season

Summary: Korea National Statistics Office (NSO) reported on August 4 that consumer prices for fresh vegetables went up 4.9 percent on average in July compared to the same month last year.  NSO said that reduced local harvest and supply due to an extended rainy season this year pushed up prices.  Korean cabbages (up 35.7 percent), sweet potatoes (up 37 percent), onions (up 39.9 percent), and lettuce (up 35.9 percent) were some of key products that led the price increases.


NFC Juices Report Strong Growth in Market Curly as Consumers Opt for Healthier Products

Summary: Market Curly, a leading on-line grocery retailer in South Korea, launched a promotion of Not From Concentrate (NFC) juices on August 2 until the end of the month.  Market Curly reported that its sales of NFC fruit and vegetable juices increased by 57 percent this year through July compared to the same period last year.  During the period, regular juices saw 32 percent sales growth in Market Curly.  Market Curly said that consumers opted for premium quality juices due to elevated health concerns.


MFDS Inspection Detects Fresh Herbs Containing High Amount of Agricultural Chemical Residues over Safety Limits

Summary: Korea Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) reported on August 5 that its recent inspection on 51 fresh herbs offered in retail stores found 6 cases of violation for agricultural chemical residues.  MFDS immediately discarded the products from the stores and will have the producers prosecuted.  MFDS said it will continue to monitor the retail market for MRL violations in fresh herbs.


Lotte Mart Partners with Vivino

Summary: Lotte Mart, a leading hypermarket grocery store chain in South Korea, reported on August 5 that it signed a partnership agreement with Vivino, the leading wine information sharing application.  Under the partnership, consumers will be able to obtain detailed information on all wines sold in Lotte Mart by scanning bottles on a tablet PC loaded with Vivino app in the wine section.


Hyundai Department Store Launches Subscription Service for Side-dishes

Summary: The number of single member households and working couples in Korea are on a rise, leading to increased demand for prepared side-dishes.  As an example, Hyundai Department Store’s side-dish sales grew by 8.1 percent in 2019 and 16.3 percent in 2020 through July.  Reflecting this new trend, Hyundai Department Store collaborated with popular side-dish brands recently and launched a wide variety of new products for delivery subscription service. The price for monthly subscription service is between 100,000 to 160,000 won ($84~135 dollars) depending on the number of dishes ordered.  Hyundia Department said that the price is 10 to 30 percent lower than its in-store price.



View List >

Agricultural Trade Office, U.S. Embassy - Seoul
Tel: 82-2-6951-6848 Fax: 82-2-720-7921