Market Information   >   Food News Clipping

Food News Clipping

May 31 - June 4, 2021


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: June 4, 2021

For Coverage: May  31 ~  June 4, 2021


BBQ Opens 300 Delivery-only Stores within a Year since Launching
Summary: BBQ, the leading fried chicken restaurant franchise in South Korea, reported that its 'BBQ Smart Kitchen' store opened its 300th store on June 3.  BBQ said that it took only one year for the new delivery only store to reach 300 stores.  BBQ added that over half of the franchisees were young adults in their 20-30's.

Consumer On-line Shopping Up 25% in April … Grocery Food Up 30%, Food Deliveries Up 57%
Summary: The Korea National Statistics Office reported that consumer on-line shopping totaled 15 trillion won ($14 billion) in April, up 25 percent from the same month last year.  Grocery food (up 30 percent to $1.8 billion) and food deliveries (up 57 percent to $1.8 billion) were some of key categories that led strong consumer on-line shopping growth in April.

SPC Samlip Announces 'ESG' Strategy
Summary: SPC Samlip, a leading food processor in South Korea, announced on June 3 that it will adopt an ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) strategy in its business operation with the goal of achieving a "sustainable food culture" by 2030.  Key programs that SPC Samlip will implement under its ESG strategy include reduction of carbon emission and waste, launching new healthier and more nutritious products, and stronger partnerships with local community and supply partners.  For example, SPC Samlip will switch to environment-
friendly packaging and launch new bakery products with plant-based egg replacements this year.

'Car Camping Trip' Trend during the Pandemic Leads to Strong Meat Sales
Summary: During the COVID-19 pandemic, many consumers opted for car camping trips to local destinations as they were not allowed to travel to foreign countries.  As a result, food for camping trips, particularly meat, enjoyed strong sales growth in grocery stores.  According to EMART, a leading grocery supermarket chain in South Korea, sales of meat during May this year increased 40 percent compared to the same month last year.

Farmers and Fishermen are Shocked as Government to Mandate Labeling of Production Date on Fresh Produce and Fish
Summary: Farmers and fishermen have recently noticed that the Korea Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) revised its labeling requirement for food in May 2020 to mandate labeling of production dates (or year) on all food sold in the market, including fresh vegetables and fish, from January 1, 2022.  The previous labeling requirement did not require production dates on products that are sold in open boxes or shelves so that consumers can evaluate the quality and freshness of the product.  Farmer and fishermen argue that the new production labeling requirement is excessive and costly to meet.  For example, under this new requirement all individual products such as carrots, cabbages, and mackerel fish will have to be sorted by harvest or catch date in the field and have production date stickers attached.  MFDS responded that the new requirement is to satisfy consumers' elevated food safety concerns.  The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) said that it would have additional consultations with the MFDS and industry on the new requirement before it goes into effect.

International Grain Customs and Clearance to Be Prioritized for Emergency Procurement Upon Request
Summary: The Korean government announced on June 2 that it will lower interest rates on raw material purchase funds for food companies to 1.8~2.3%.  It was lowered to 2.0~2.5% in April 2021.  Before that it was 2.5~3.0%.  In addition, the Korea Custom Services is operating a 24-hour emergency customs clearance system and international grain clearance can be prioritized upon industrial request.

Regulatory Approval on Operating Alcohol Vending Machines at Convenience Stores and Supermarkets
Summary: The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy approved the operation of liquor vending machines at convenience stores and supermarkets as of May 31.  Originally, liquor vending machines were only allowed in bars and karaoke parlors but not at other general stores.  Convenience stores and markets must install security cameras and hire staff to manage any liquor machines.  In response, local companies including ‘Shinsegae’ plans to operate vending machines across the country.

NGO Consumer Group Warns Unbalanced Nutrition in Frozen Pizza
Summary: The Coalition of Consumer Citizens (CCC), a local NGO group, reported on May 31 that its recent testing on 16 frozen pizza products sold in the market found serious risks to consumer health.  CCC said that the average amount of saturated fat (15 grams) and sodium (1,552 grams) contained in the products were 99 percent and 78 percent of the daily dietary allowance respectively.  CCC testing also found trans-fat in some of the products, but they were not labeled for trans-fat content.  CCC said that its survey found 63 percent of consumers eat a whole pan of pizza at a time, and another 10 percent eat a half pan at a time.  CCC claimed that consumers should be alerted of the potential for an unhealthy diet from frozen pizza.

ESG Effects Consumer Purchases, Korea Chamber of Commerce
Summary: Korea Chamber of Commerce (KCC) reported on May 30 outcomes of its recent consumer perception survey on ESG (Environment-Social-Governance).  KCC said that 63 percent of consumers replied that their purchases were influenced by ESG.  70 percent of consumers said that they stopped purchasing from companies that were engaged in activities against ESG.  88 percent of consumers said that they were willing to pay more for products by companies that promote ESG.


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