Market Information   >   Food News Clipping

Food News Clipping

September 20 - 25, 2020


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Friday,  September 25, 2020

For Coverage: September 20 ~  25, 2020


Table Sugar Market Continues to Shrink

Summary: According to the Korea Agro-Fishery Marketing Corporation (aT), sales of table sugar in Korea amounted to 137 billion won ($119 million USD) in 2019, down 27 percent from 2015.  On the other hand, sales of sugar alternatives, including artificial sweeteners, increased 3.7 percent during the period, reaching 20 billion won ($18 million USD) in 2019.  Table sugar consumption will likely continue to decline in coming years due to increased consumer health concerns.


Korean Food Processors Forecast Strong 3Q Outcomes due to Increased Home Dining

Summary: CJ Cheiljedang, the leading food processor in South Korea, has forecast that its 3Q sales will total 6.3 trillion won ($5.4 billion USD), up 8.1 percent from the same quarter last year.  Nongshim, the leading instant noodle company, has forecast 11.6 percent increase in its 3Q sales to 658 billion won ($563 million USD).  Marketers said that increased home dining during the COVID-19 outbreaks resulted in strong sales growth in HMR prepared foods.


Dr. Jung's Food Expand Portfolio of Soy Milk with Functional Ingredients

Summary: Dr. Jung's Food, the leading processor of soy milk beverages in South Korea, reported that it added new soy milk products fortified with functional ingredients targeting different consumer groups.  New products introduced include 'Soy Milk Lutein', 'Protein Meal Almond-Walnut Milk', 'High Protein Soy Milk', and Soy Milk Senior' fortified with beta-glucan and selenium.


Wine Imports Up 9.5% through August due to Increased Home Drinking during the COVID-19 Pandemic ... Imports from the U.S. Up 51%

Summary: According to the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) Trade Database, Korean wine imports this year through August amounted to $189 million, up 9.5 percent from the same period last year.  Many consumers opted to drink wine at home during the COVID-19 pandemic instead of visiting bars or restaurants.  In particular, wine imports from the United States increased 51 percent.  On the other hand, whiskey and beer imports during the period declined 27 percent and 22 percent respectively to $74 million and $157 million.


Traders Launches New Private Label Program, 'T Standard'

Summary: Traders, a leading warehouse discount retailer under the umbrella of EMART South Korea, launched a new private label program, 'T Standard'.  Traders said that a dozen products under the program will debut in its new store in Ansung city that will open on September 25.  According to Traders, 'T Standard' program offers lower prices than its existing 'Traders Deal' private label program.


Sikdae Offers Meal Kit Delivery Service to Teleworking Employees

Summary: Sikdae, the leading corporate lunch program service provider in South Korea that services over 420 corporate clients, announced on September 24 that it started to offer meal kit delivery service to employees who are working at home.  Sikade said that the service will allow corporations to provide lunch programs to their teleworking employees for COVID-19 concerns.  Orders made by 10 a.m. the day before will be delivered to employee's home for easy lunch preparation.


Hanwoo Beef Generates the Most Sales Growth in Chuseok Gift Shopping Due to Eased Anti-Graft Act, Hyundai Department Store

Summary: Hyundai Department Store (HDS) reported on September 23 that Hanwoo beef generated the most, 37 percent sales growth among the Chuseok gift sets it offered this year compared to last season.  The top seller last season, health functional foods generated 21 percent growth.  HDS said that eased Anti-Graft Act (gift ceiling raised to 200,000 won / $172 USD) for Chuseok gifting this year was key driver for strong sales of premium products, including Hanwoo beef


Premium Gift Packages for Korean Thanksgiving Day Generate Strong Sales Growth, Hello Nature
Summary: It is reported that many Korean consumers have increased their spending on Chuseok gift shopping this year as they plan not to make personal visits due to COVID-19 concerns.  Hello Nature, a fresh food on-line retailer, saw 258 percent sales growth in premium Chuseok gift packages (priced at 200,000 won or higher) this year between August 24 and September 21 compared to the same period last year.


Consumers Spend 15% More on Chuseok Food Gifts as They Plan to Skip Personal Visits, SSG.COM

Summary: SSG.COM, a leading on-line grocery retailer in South Korea, reported that the average price of its home-delivery food gift sets for upcoming Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day) sold during August 13 through September 19 was 15 percent higher than last season.  SSG.COM added that premium gift sets offered for 200,000 won ($170 USD) or higher, including wild pine mushroom, Hanwoo beef, and dried fish roes, saw 194 percent sales growth compared to last season.  SSG.COM explained that many consumers increased their Chuseok gift spending this year as they decided not to make personal visits to their families during Chuseok due to COVID-19 concerns.


"Each Chuseok Gift Delivery is Thoroughly Disinfected", Hyundai Department Store

Summary: Hyundai Department Store reported that it was implementing a strict sanitary measure in its distribution warehouses to make sure that each Chuseok gift delivery is thoroughly disinfected.  After the sanitary procedure, the delivery package is attached with a "disinfection assurance" sticker.


Gimje City Exports 4 metric tons of Premium Grapes to Hong Kong ]

Summary: Gimje city in Junbuk province reported on September 21 that 4 metric tons of its premium grapes, Shine Muscat and Hongju Seedless, were exported to Hong Kong.  Gimje City said that the grapes were top quality fruits with minimum 20 brix sugar content.  Gimje city plans to expand its premium grape acreages to cope with increased demand in both domestic and foreign markets.


Korean Exports of Processed Pork, Eggs, Instant Noodle to Hong Kong Increase Sharply due to COVID-19

Summary: Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT) reported strong growth in Korean food exports to Hong Kong this year, including processed pork meat (up 477 percent to $4.3 million USD), eggs (up 274 percent to $1 million USD), bakery products (up 113 percent to $5.2 million), instant noodle (up 52 percent to $17.7 million USD), and kimchi (up 43 percent to $3.6 million USD).  According to aT, the growth was due to increased demand for quality foods in Hong Kong due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Changes in Korean Liquor Consumption Trends

Summary: Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT) published a liquor market trend report on September 9.  According to the report, Koreans drank 8.5 days per month on average in 2019, a slight decline from 8.8 days in 2017.  Beer was the most preferred product (accounting for 36.9 percent of monthly drinking), followed by soju (32.9 percent) and traditional Korean liquor (20.1 percent).  Traditional Korean liquor saw the most growth, as it accounted for only 15.7 percent of monthly drinking in 2016.  Consumers made a significant change in their drinking patterns in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns.  87.3 percent of the consumers answered that they opted for home drinking during the COVID-19 outbreak.  


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