FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues
Today's Date: Monday, August 30, 2021
For Coverage: August 21 ~ 27, 2021
11st Partners with Amazon, Offering Easy Consumer Direct Imports of Amazon Products
Summary: 11st, the fourth largest on-line shopping platform in South Korea with a 6 percent market share, announced on August 25 that it established a partnership with Amazon.com that will allow Korean consumers to purchase and import products offered on Amazon without language or shipping barriers. According to 11st, its platform will include 'Amazon global store' on August 31. The store will be in Korean and consumers will see little difference in purchasing Amazon products as they will offer local payment and shipping arrangement. 11st will offer free shipping for purchases of 28,000 won ($25) or above. 11st will run a warehouse on the U.S. west coast for quick international shipping to Korea (4 to 10 days). South Korean consumers spent 4 trillion won ($3.4 billion) on direct imports from foreign on-line shops in 2020, up 12 percent from the previous year.
MAFRA to Revise 'Raw Milk Pricing System'
Summary: The Korea Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) reported that its 'Dairy Industry Development Committee' had a launching meeting on August 25. MAFRA said that the committee will discuss and develop by the end of this year new mid-long term growth strategies for the local dairy industry. A key target outcome will be a new 'raw milk pricing system'. MAFRA said that the existing pricing system, which decides the ex-farm raw milk price based on farm cost, has failed to promote growth in the local dairy industry. As an indicator, dairy consumption in Korea, which increased 47 percent during 2001-2020 to 4.5 million metric tons a year, now relys more on imports. Imports increased 4 times during the period to 2.4 million metric tons. In comparison, local production of raw milk declined 11 percent during the period to 2.1 million metric tons in 2020. The ex-farm raw milk price increased 72 percent to 1,051 won ($0.91) per liter. As a result, local origin dairy products are getting less price competitive compared to imported products. MAFRA said that the new pricing system will focus on minimizing price increases while promoting farms to maintain stable supply of raw milk.
South Korea Wants to Resume FTA Talks with Mexico
Summary: South Korean and Mexican trade representatives held a video conference on August 25 and discussed ideas on how to form a stronger bilateral trade relationship. The Korean trade representative HG Yeo emphasized in the meeting that both parties should resume bilateral Free Trade Agreement talks which stopped in 2008. Mexico is the leading trading partner for South Korea in the South American continent.
EMART Offers Fresh Vegetables Grown in Smart Farms
Summary: EMART, the leading hypermarket grocery store chain in South Korea, has started to offer fresh vegetables grown in smart farms this year. EMART established a partnership with a leading local smart farm company, 'n.thing', to launch the project. EMART said that the project is to prepare for potential disruption in the supply of fresh vegetables from conventional farms due to climate changes. EMART added that the project proved practical and efficient this summer when an unexpected heat stream limited supply of fresh vegetables from conventional farms. Sales of smart farm vegetables in EMART increased four times in July compared to the launching month in January.
The Government Will Tackle Dairy Milk Inflation by Launching ‘Dairy Development Committee’
Summary: The government has decided to create a private industrial development committee to develop the dairy industry in the long term. However, critics say it’s too late to create the committee since milk inflation has already started. Korea’s fluid milk price has risen 72 percent compared to 10 percent price increases in the United States and Europe. Analysts say that this increase has affected the price of overall dairy products. However, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs says it is difficult to respond because of the independent structure of the dairy system.
Smart Farm Tech Allows Cultivation of Foreign Crops ... Jalapeño Pepper, Coffee
Summary: Young Korean farmers are exploring new opportunities with foreign, exotic crops as new smart farm technologies allow them to overcome climate differences. MH Park, a young farmer aged 31, is producing Jalapeño pepper in his two-story high greenhouse farm (6,000 sq. meter) in Gimcheon. The greenhouse is equipped with high-tech smart farm facilities that maintain high temperatures and low humidity automatically. His four-year effort produces 15 metric tons of the Mexican peppers a year currently. IK Kim in Pohang is another example. He produces coffee beans from his greenhouse farm. His goal is to establish Pohang as a special origin for coffee beans in the local cafe industry.
Retailers Offer Local Flower Crabs as Fishing Season Starts
Summary: Home Plus and other leading grocery retailers in South Korea started to offer local flower crabs on August 23 as the fishing season started. A 3 kilogram box of live crabs is offered at 36,000 won ($31 USD). The fishing season will last until the end of October.
Gyochon Chicken Introduces 'Frying Robot'
Summary: Gyochon Chicken, a leading fried chicken restaurant franchise in South Korea, reported on August 24 that its store in Songdo, Incheon adopted a 'Frying Robot' for the first time in the franchise. Gyochon Chicken said that it will offer the robot to other stores. Goychon said the robot will help its stores to maximize operation efficiency as it can be programed for various co-working with human staff.
73% of Consumers Pick Hypermarket Stores as Leading Place to Purchase Wine ... France is the Most Favored Origin, Consumer Survey
Summary: According to a consumer survey by the Korea Consumer Agency (KCA) in June this year, 73 percent of consumers said they usually purchase wine in hypermarket grocery stores. Department stores (11 percent) and liquor stores (9 percent) were other major places where consumers purchase wine. Consumers said that France was the preferred origin for wine, receiving 5.47 points (out of 7 points) in the satisfaction index, followed by Chile (5.46 points), the United States (5.38 points), Spain (5.29 points), and Italy (5.28 points). Consumers recently purchased Chilean wine the most (41 percent), followed by French wine (21 percent), Italian wine (10 percent), Spanish wine (9 percent), and U.S. wine (6 percent). KCA reported that the price of Chilean wine became more attractive recently as the average price of Chilean wine offered in retail stores declined 35 percent since 2019. French and Italian wine prices declined 12 percent and 10 percent respectively during the period. On the other hand, U.S. wine prices remained almost the same.
Whole Grain Products Expand Shares in Breakfast Cereal Market
Summary: According to the Euromonitor, whole grain products led growth in the breakfast cereal market in South Korea in 2020. Cash-register sales for whole grain products, including granola and muesli type products, increased 24 percent to 86 billion won ($72 million) in 2020, whereas conventional flake type products saw only 6 percent growth to 87 billion won ($72 million). Dongsuh-Post Granola was the leading whole-grain cereal brand in the market with a 13 percent market share. Euromonitor said that whole grain products will continue to lead the cereal market in South Korea as consumers look for healthier and more natural products.
Jeollanam-do Agricultural and Fisheries Foods Become Global Through Amazon
Summary: Jeollanam-do will enter the European food market through Amazon. Jeollanam-do is the world’s first local government to open a ‘Jeonnam Brand Hall’ in Amazon. As it is currently achieving sales of more than 500% compared to its initial opening, Amazon decided to open an additional hall in Europe. Jeollanam-do will take this opportunity to help their local companies establish themselves in the global food market.
Dron Delivers Pizza… First Commercialization in Korea
Summary: Domino’s Pizza commercialized a drone delivery service for the first time in Korea on August 22nd. Domino Pizza’s drone delivery service ‘Domi Air’ flies 6 kilometers back and forth and takes about 25 minutes. When Domi Air gets selected, the app automatically recognizes the destination and delivers it to customers. After starting the drone service in Sejong City, it is planning to expand its operation to Seoul and metropolitan areas.
Inchon International Airport Reports Rebound in Travelers to 10,000 People a Day for the First Time since the Pandemic
Summary: Inchon International Airport (ICN), the leading airport in South Korea, reported on August 21 that the number of travelers it serviced rebounded to over 10,000 people a day in August for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. The average number of travelers who traveled via ICN was 10,987 a day during August 1 through 19, up 20 percent from July. ICN said that the increase in travelers will likely continue in coming months due to on-going progress in vaccination programs around the world, but there will remain many challenges until a full-scale recovery. ICN serviced almost 200,000 travelers a day in 2019 before the pandemic.
Pet Food Companies Compete to Cater to the Taste of Dogs and Cats
Summary: Pet food is no longer simply to "feed to fill their stomachs"; instead pet food companies are paying more attention to taste and nutrition. In line with this, pet food companies are releasing more competitive pet foods. They are determined to beat imported brands that currently have a significant share of the pet food market by releasing pet foods containing ingredients such as red ginseng and probiotics. In addition, pet food sales at convenience stores and online stores are becoming more popular.