Market Information   >   Food News Clipping

Food News Clipping

June 21 - 25, 2021


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Friday, June 25, 2021

For Coverage: June  21 ~  25, 2021


Korean Embassy in the U.S. Will Start Receiving COVID-19 Quarantine Waiver Requests from June 28 Vaccinated Foreigners Visiting Korea May be Exempted from 14 Day Quarantine Isolation from July 1 

Summary: The South Korean Embassy and Consular Offices in the United States will reportedly start receiving COVID-19 quarantine waiver requests from June 28.  This is in line with the Korean government plan to exempt foreign visitors visiting Korea for designated objectives from the existing 14 day mandatory self-isolation upon arrival from July 1.  The waiver request can be made by on-line one week before the travel date.  Travelers approved for the quarantine waiver will still be required to have a negative COVID-19 test certificate (PCR test) issued within 72 hours before departure.  The objectives of travel covered under the waiver program are business and visiting direct family members. 


Shinsegae Group Announces Acquisition of eBay Korea  Shinsegae Becomes #1 Retailer in Korea 

Summary: Shinsegae Group, a leading retail business group in South Korea, announced on June 24 that it reached an agreement with eBay Korea to acquire an 80 percent share of eBay Korea for 3.4 trillion won (about $3 billion).  As a result, Shinsegae Group became the largest retail force in the market as annual cash-register sales of retail businesses under Shinsegae Group will expand by 17 trillion won ($15 billion) to 49 trillion won ($45 billion) after the acquisition.  Flagship retail businesses under Shinsegae Group include EMART (hypermarket stores, 22 trillion won of annual sales), Shinsegae Department Store (5 trillion won of annual sales), and SSG.COM (4 trillion won of annual sales).  Shinsegae said that eBay Korea, which is a leading on-line open market platform with 2.7 million consumers under fee-based membership and 140,000 sellers, will strengthen its on-line retail capacity further. 


Consumer Confidence Index Hits 41 Month High 

Summary: The Bank of Korea (BOK) reported that the consumer confidence index was 110.3 in June, up 5.1 points from May.  BOK said that the index hit a 41 month high, reflecting improved Korean economy and significant COVID vaccination progress. 


ROKG Extends Duty Exemption on Imported Eggs through December 

Summary: The Korean government announced on June 22 that the duty exemption on imported fresh eggs will be extended until the end of this year.  The decision, which would facilitate some 36,000 metric tons of egg imports during the second half this year, was due to high egg prices in the market.  According to government data, the average retail price of grade A fresh eggs (local origin) in Korea on June 22 was 47 percent higher than a year ago.  Marketers commented that it will take additional months for local egg farms to fully recover from damage caused by avian Influenza outbreaks last winter. 


'Potato Breeding Research Center' by Orion Leads Innovations in Local Potato Industry 

Summary: Orion Co., the leading potato chip processor in South Korea, operates the 'Potato Breeding Research Center' in Pyungchang, Gangwon province.  The center has led new variety developments in the local potato industry over the last 10 years.  The key challenge in the local potato industry was traditional local potatoes had too much water content and were not ideal for processing uses, including chips.  'Doo Baek' is the flagship variety the center developed for chipping uses.  Orion Co. has established a partnership with 400 local potato farms where Doo Baek variety is cultivated for chipping by Orion after harvest.  Orion produces and chips 13,000 metric tons of Doo Baek potatoes a year.  Orion processes potato chips from imported potatoes from December to May when local potatoes are not available.  Orion says that consumers prefer potato chips made from Doo Baek over chips made from imported potatoes. 


Local Cherry Farms Start Harvesting 

Summary: Cherry farms in ImsilJunbuk province have reportedly started harvest in mid-June.  Farms also offer cherry picking visits for consumers. 


One in Every Five Restaurants Offer Dishes for Home Deliveries via Smart Phone Apps 

Summary: The Korea Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) released outcomes of its 'Foodservice Industry Business Survey 2020' on June 21.  According to the MAFRA report, 20 percent of restaurants in Korea offered their dishes for home deliveries via smart phone apps, which increased sharply from 11 percent in 2019.  Fried chicken restaurants had the highest home delivery offers via smart phone apps (79 percent), followed by pizza and hamburger restaurants (66 percent), Japanese restaurants (43 percent), and Chinese restaurants (36 percent).  Korean restaurants had the least home delivery offers via smart phone apps (14 percent). 


71% of Korean Consumers Increased On-line Food Purchases During the Pandemic, Korea Chamber of Commerce 

Summary: The Korea Chamber of Commerce released outcomes of its recent consumer survey on June 21.  According to the survey, 78 percent of consumers increased on-line purchases since the COVID-19 pandemic.  Grocery food was the category that consumers increased on-line shopping the most (71 percent), followed by restaurant food (31 percent), kitchen and home products (30 percent), and fashion clothing (28 percent).  Easy deliveries (58 percent), COVID-19 health concerns (57 percent), and lower prices (50 percent) were key reasons for consumers increased on-line shopping. 


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