Market Information   >   Food News Clipping

Food News Clipping

August 31 - September 04, 2020


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Friday,  September 4, 2020

For Coverage: August 31 ~  September 4, 2020

Leading Sand Pear Area in South Korea Hit Hard by Typhoon ... Lost 5% of Fruit

Summary: Naju county in Junranam province is the leading grower of sand pear in South Korea with 1,943 heaters of acreage.  The area was hit hard by a typhoon earlier this week.  Growers reported that they lost about 5 percent of the fruit due to strong winds.  Growers remain alerted for additional damage as another typhoon is approaching the Korean peninsula.  


Record High Monthly On-line Shopping Sales in July ... Food Led the Growth

Summary: According to the National Statistics Office (NSO), the on-line shopping industry generated 12.9 trillion won of cash-register sales in July 2020, up 15.8 percent from the same month last year.  Food products led the growth in on-line shopping - fresh agricultural and fishery products increased 72.8 percent, food deliveries 66.3 percent, and processed food and beverages 46.7 percent. 


Pulmoowon-Danone Doubles Its 'Activia Yogurt' Processing Facility in Muju County

Summary: Pulmoowon, a leading food processor in South Korea, reported on September 4 that its Danone 'Activia' yogurt processing facility in Muju county completed an expansion project.  The processing capacity doubled to 66,800 metric tons a year as a result.  Pulmoowon said that its partnership with Danone was successful and 'Activia' yogurt line saw an outstanding 11 percent annual growth over the last three years due to strong consumer demand for a healthy diet.


Food & Beverage Companies Target Health Conscious Consumers

Summary: ‘Global Market Insights’ has recently reported that the global active nutrition market will grow from $11 billion in 2017 to $28 billion in 2025.  Compared to the global market and growth, Korea’s protein food market is relatively small ($67 million USD).  However, industry sources projects that the market will experience steep growth.  Emart’s Q1 2020 sales of protein snacks, shakes, and drinks grew at 113, 6.3, and 3 percent respectively compared to the same period last year.  To take advantage of this new trend companies are launching new products that targets health conscious consumers.  For example, Orion, a leading confectionery company, has recently launched ‘Dr. You Drink’, a ready to drink protein product.


HMR Prepared Foods Lead Sharp Growth in On-line Grocery Food Shopping during Second Wave of COVID-19 in August, Market Kurly

Summary: Market Kurly, a leading on-line grocery retailer in South Korea, reported that Home Meal Replacement (HMR) prepared foods led a sharp growth in its sales during the second wave of COVID-19 outbreaks, August 15-30.  HMR prepared foods generated the highest sales growth at 16 percent during the period, followed by fresh vegetables (10 percent), dairy (6 percent), and fruit (5 percent).


Korea Telecom Introduces 'AI Serving Robot' for Restaurants

Summary: Korea Telecom (KT) reported on September 2 that its artificial intelligence serving robot started to work in a restaurant in Seoul.  KT said that the project is in a pilot stage and the testing partner, MFG restaurant group, plans to introduce the serving robots in additional stores.


CJ Olive Young Targets to Double Its Sales of Health-Functional Foods in 3 Years

Summary: CJ Olive Young, the leading health and beauty retailer in South Korea with over 1,000 stores in metropolitan areas, reported on September 3 that its new growth strategy will mainly be based on health functional foods.  CJ Olive Young's goal is to double its health functional foods in 3 years.  Under the plan, CJ will increase both the number of products and sub-categories offered in the health functional food section.


Demand for Hot Spicy Foods Increases for COVID-19 Stress

Summary: CU convenience store reported that its sales of hot, spicy foods increased 24 percent during August 16-31 compared to the same period in the previous month.  CU explained that many consumers opted for eating hot, spicy foods as a way to deal with their mental stress caused by the second wave of COVID-19.


Long Monsoon Season Leads to Strong Price for New Crop Fruits

Summary: Retail prices of new crop fruits this year have gone up to the highest level in years as a result of a record long monsoon season this June through August.  New crop local apples that appeared in wholesale markets from end of August were offered for 71,000 won ($59 USD) per 10 kilogram box on average, 67 percent higher than last season.  The wholesale price for local grapes reached 24,980 won ($21 USD) per 5 kilogram box, up 47 percent from last season.  


Franchise Coffee Shops Target Home Coffee Consumers and Convenience Stores
Summary: With social distancing level raised to 2.5, consumers are no longer allowed to drink their coffee inside a franchise coffee shop.  They can only order take-out and deliver
y.  To cope with the current situation, the leading franchise coffee shops, including ‘Starbucks’ and ‘Twosomeplace’, have launched new products that target home coffee brewers and convenience stores.  For example, Starbucks now offers instant coffee packs for a wide range of blends from different coffee beans and roasting styles.  Starbucks also plans to launch new capsule coffees in GS25, leading convenience store chain, to further expand their business outside their shops. 


Dongwon to Develop Large-scale Salmon Aquaculture Facility in Yangyang County

Summary: Dongwon Industries, a leading sea food processor in South Korea, announced on August 31 that it would invest 200 billion won ($170 million USD) to develop an in-land aquaculture facility for salmon production in Yangyang county, Gangwon province.  The facility will start production in 2021.  Dongwon targets to produce 20,000 metric tons of salmon from the facility by 2030.  Korea imports about 35,000 metric tons of salmon each year currently and Dongwon facility would take over 50 percent of overall salmon market demand in Korea upon completion.


Korean Food Companies Seek Growth Opportunities in Startups

Summary: Korean food companies are investing in domestic and foreign startups for new growth opportunities.  For example, Hite Jinro, the leading alcoholic beverage processor in Korea, has made four investment contracts with startups this year on living technology, home meal replacements, game, and food delivery platform.  Korea Yakult partnered with WADIZ (a crowd funding company) to invest in startups and develop new products that will be sold in its online shopping platform, Hy Fresh.  Dongwon Industries, a leading seafood processor, has invested in a Norwegian startup, Salmon Evolution, that farms fish in-land.


Department Stores Report Double Digit Sales Declines after Elevated Social Distancing in August

Summary: Lotte Department Store reported that its sales during the last weekend in August (28-30) declined 44 percent compared to the same weekend last year.  Hyundai Department Store also reported a 19 percent sales decline during August 29-30.  The decline was due to elevated social distancing mandated by the Korean government after August 15 in response to a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections.


Non-store, On-line Retail Business Becomes the New Norm

Summary: The Korea National Statistical Office reported that the non-store, on-line retail industry generated 46.2 trillion won in cash-register sales ($39 billion dollars) during the first half of this year, up 19.4 percent from the same period last year.  This dramatic increase is due to COVID-19 changing the spending behaviors of consumers.  As social distancing became the norm and people started to telework, consumers increased on-line shopping and home delivery orders.  For example, the leading home delivery service Baemin saw its number of daily deliveries increase by 176 percent this year compared to last year. 


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