Market Information   >   Food News Clipping

Food News Clipping

July 25 - August 6, 2021


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Monday,  August 9, 2021

For Coverage: July  25 ~  August 6,  2021


GS25 Convenience Store Reports Strong Growth in Vegan Food Sales

Summary: GS25, a leading convenience store chain in South Korea, reported on August 5 that its sales of vegan food products increased 18 fold this year through July.  GS25 said that MZ generation consumers were the main buyers of vegan products as they paid increased attention to animal welfare and environment friendly consumption.  GS25 plans to expand the number of vegan food offers in its stores to 30 during the second half this year.


Choongnam Province Harvests a 'Double Cropping' Rice Variety, First Time in South Korea

Summary: Choongnam provincial government (CPG) reported on August 6 that a group of farms in Dangjin started harvesting 'Bbarumi' rice.  CPG said that 'Bbarumi' was the first 'double cropping' rice variety ever developed and planted commercially in South Korea.  25 farms in Dangjin planted the variety this year during late April and early May on 33 hectares of land.  The yeild of Bbarumi rice was 129 kilograms per hectre, slightly higher than single cropping varieties.  CPG said that the land will be replanted with Bbarumi rice for the second harvest in November.  SJ Yang, CPG governor, commented that Bbarumi and other new rice varieties will account for over 30 percent of all rice produced in the province by 2025.


On-line Shopping Up 25.1% during First Half of 2021

Summary: The Korea National Statistics Office (NSO) reported on August 4 that the on-line shopping industry generated 46.8 trillion won ($41 billion USD) in cash-register sales during the first half of 2021, up 25.1 percent from the same period the previous year.  NSO said that it was the largest half year growth ever in the industry.  On-line shopping accounted for 28.1 percent of all retail sales in the country, up 2.5 percent points.  Key product categories that led the outstanding sales growth include processed food and beverages (up 34.4 percent), fresh agricultural and fishery products (up 34.2 percent), and restaurant meal deliveries (up 58.7 percent).


Youngam County to Discard 250 Metric Tons of Fresh Figs for Pest Damages

Summary: Youngam county, Junranam province reported that it will buy out and discard 250 metric tons of figs from local farms as the farms are not able to market the new crop fruits due to pest damage.  Youngam county is the leading producer of figs in South Korea.


McDonald's Korea Spots Use of Outdated Ingredients in a Store

Summary: McDonald's Korea reported on August 4 that its internal audit found illegal use of outdated ingredients in one of its stores in Seoul.  McDonald's said that it took immediate and strict measures to correct the problem while discarding all outdated ingredients in the store.  McDonald's added that it will continue to monitor safety and quality management in all its stores. 


8 out of 10 Korean Consumers Drink at Home after the Pandemic

Summary: Lotte Members, a research arm under the leading Korean retailer Lotte Shopping Co., reported that 84 percent of Korean consumers surveyed in July 2021 said they now consume alcoholic beverages mostly at home.  Only 7 percent and 5 percent of the consumers said that they drink mostly in restaurants or bars respectively.  Lotte said that consumers switched to home drinking because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In the same survey carried out before the pandemic, consumers said that they were drinking mostly at home (40 percent), in bars (31 percent), and in restaurants (24 percent).  The home drinking trend has brought a significant change in sales of alcoholic beverages in retail stores.  Conventional retail stores, including hypermarket grocery stores, department stores, and convenience stores, saw their alcoholic beverage sales grow 14 percent this year through July 15.  Wine (up 100 percent), distilled spirits (up 54 percent), and soju (up 25 percent) led the sales growth this year.  Domestic beer sales increased 55 percent but imported beer sales declined 16 percent.


Shinsegae Food’s Second Quarter Profit Reaches 8.1 billion… 234% Higher than Last Year

Summary: Even though retailers are struggling due to the covid 19, Shinsegae Food has greatly increased its performance in the second half of the year.  It achieved strong results in food production, distribution, and bakery, thanks in part to its ‘NO BRAND’ stores.


Watermelon Prices Rose 35% in a Month

Summary: According to AT, the price of the watermelon rose 34% from a month ago in a series of heatwaves.  Consumer demand for watermelon has increased in this hot weather, but the supply of high-quality watermelon couldn’t meet demand due to the heat waves following the short rainy season.


U.S Soybean Export Council Holds a U.S High-Oleic Soybean Oil Recipe Contest for Nutritionists

Summary: According to the U.S Soybean Export Council, high oleic soybean oil is made from a variety of soybeans with higher levels of oleic acid.  This soybean only grows in the U.S. and is produced in compliance with the U.N.’s sustainability development goals.  Any nutritionist can participate in various menus under the theme of “group meal menu using high oleic soybean oil”.  The online preliminary round is from August 2nd to 27th, and the results will be announced on September 17.  The finalists will compete on October 2.


HMR Market Blooms in Covid 19…Every Company Jumps In

Summary: As the result of covid 19, teleworking continues and food and culture trends are changing to home-cooked meals.  Consumption of home meal replacement kits (HMRs) have increased.  CJ Cheil Jedang maintains the top position in the industry.  Hotels and influencers are also jumping into the HMR market.


Continuing the Protein Food Craze in Korea

Summary: Protein supplement foods are emerging as a hot trend among the younger generation.  The first target of protein foods was initially elderly and middle-aged people who are interested in healthcare.  However, as interest in health care spread to all ages, protein foods have become popular amongst athletic people.  Food companies such as Lotte Chilsung and Hy are expanding their sales by jumping into the protein market.


Bottled Water, Ice Cream etc... Global Food Companies Raise Prices

Summary: Raw material prices, logistics costs, and labor costs have risen.  As a result, global companies are shifting the cost burden to consumers, increasing overall food prices.  Nestle has already raised global product prices by 1.3 percent on average in the first half of this year.  ABInbev is also considering raising prices.  Korean companies such as Ottogi have decided to increase the price of its ramen for the first time in 13 years.  Nongshim also announced plans to increase their ramen prices.


The Expiration Date on Food Labels is Being Replaced with Consumption Date

Summary: Food will be required to be labeled with a “consume by” date instead of a sell-by-date.  Previously food had to be labeled with the date when the food could be sold to consumers.  However, this created consumer confusion regarding how long they had to consume the food.  The change is expected to reduce food waste.  The consumption deadline system will be implemented from 2023 to allow food companies to prepare for the change, with a later deadline for milk.



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