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Food News Clipping

June 7 - 11, 2021


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: June 11, 2021

For Coverage: June  7 ~  11, 2021

Consumer Agency Warns of Increased Sugar and Sodium in Many Processed Foods 

Summary: The Korea Consumer Agency (KCA) reported on June 10 that its routine survey of processed food in the market since 2012 found that many products still contain too much sugar or sodium.  KCA explained that its recent survey in April this year found an increased amount of sugar in 27 percent of 111 products it monitored routinely for sugar content.  The survey also found increased amounts of sodium in 38 percent of the 122 products it monitors for sodium content.  KCA said that many processors made little effort to lower sugar and sodium content in their products.  Snacks and porridges were the leading product for high sugar and sodium content respectively. 


Restaurants are Concerned about the High Cost of Offering Local Kimchi ... Local Ingredients are Too Expensive 

Summary: Korean restaurants are highly concerned about the high cost of offering locally made kimchi.  They used to offer imported Chinese kimchi in the past, but they were forced to switch to local kimchi this year since local news media reported video footage of Chinese kimchi made in unsanitary ways.  Restaurant owners said that key local ingredients for making kimchi, particularly dried red pepper, garlic and spring onion, are way too expensive to offer local kimchi at an affordable cost to consumers.  The retail price for local ingredients were 37,548 won ($34) for dried pepper powder, 11,414 won ($11) for garlic, and 3,313 won ($3) for spring onions per kilogram as of June 10. 


Korean Government to Expand Fresh Egg Imports to 70 Million in July 

Summary: NK Hong, the Korean prime minister, said on June 10 that the government will deploy additional measures to stabilize food prices.  The government will increase imports of fresh eggs from 50 million per month to 70 million per month from July.   The government will also release to the market 80,000 metric tons of rice from its reserve. 


Sajowon Obtains 'Animal Welfare' Certification on Its Slaughter Facility in Junbuk ... Fourth Facility Certified in the Province 

Summary: Sajowon, a chicken meat supplier, reported that its poultry slaughter facility in GimjeJunbuk province received 'Animal Welfare' certification on June 10.  Sajowon said that it was the fourth certification approved in the province. 


Hemp Legislations to be Revised, Ministry of SMEs and Startups 

Summary: The minister of SMEs and Startups had a meeting on Hemp regulations in AndongGyeongbuk province.  Participants from the government, universities and research institutes have discussed current hemp related issues and further plan to commercialize the hemp industry.  Minister Kwon said that the ministry will start to consult with relevant institutes and revise regulations to expand the market, under thorough safety management. 


Price of Eggs Continues to Rise 

Summary: Korea Agro-Fishery Marketing Corporation (aT) reported that the consumer price for a pack of 30 large eggs averaged 7,508 won ($6.8 USD) on June 3, up 45 percent from the same period last year.  Egg prices remained high this year as a result of nation-wide outbreak of avian influenza in local egg farms this past winter.  The government said that local farms had yet to recover from the virus.  Marketers expect that the supply of eggs in the market will start to rebound at the end of June.    


Convenience Stores to Offer Alcoholic Beverages via Vending Machines 

Summary: GS25, a leading convenience store chain in South Korea, reported on June 7 that it started a pilot program to offer alcoholic beverages via vending machines.  Consumers are required to verify their age using a smart phone application to purchase from the vending machine.  Sales of alcoholic beverages in vending machines are currently allowed only in restaurants.  GS25 said that the pilot program will turn into commercial operation as soon as the government approves alcoholic beverage vending machines in retail stores. 


Lotte HMR Brands Integrated into Chefood 

Summary: Lotte Food, a leading food processor in South Korea, announced it will integrate its HMR (Home Meal Replacement) brands into Chefood.  Previously it was divided into La Cuisine and Chefood.  In addition, it has redesigned the packagings and raised its sales goal by 19%. 


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