Market Information   >   Food News Clipping

Food News Clipping

November 1 - 15, 2021


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Monday,  November 15, 2021

For Coverage: November 1 ~ 15, 2021

Korean Production of Sauces Valued at 2.03 Trillion Won in 2020 – A 22% Increase in 5 years
Summary: The Korean sauce market is growing along with the expansion of the convenience food marketpreference for home-cooked meals due to the spread of COVID-19, and as more consumers are looking for simple cooking ingredients such as good-for-all soy sauce.  According to the 2021 processed food industry market report published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (Minister Hyun-Soo Kim) and the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (President Chun-Jin Kim), local production of sauces in 2020 was KRW 2.0296 trillion, up 22.4% from KRW 1.6584 trillion in 2016.  Korea’s sauce exports totaled $183.47 million in 2020, an increase of 85.7% from 2016.  Korea imported $187.69 million in sauces in 2020, a 34.8% increase during the same period.  The top four exporters to Korea were China (44.8%), the United States (13.3%), Japan (12.5%), and Thailand (8.1%), accounting for 78.7% of total imports.  Main imported sauce products include oyster sauce, mara sauce from China, Shoyu soy sauce from Japan, barbecue and steak sauce from the United States, and Sriracha sauce from Southeast Asia.

Tasting Events Goes Virtual Due To Covid
Summary: Alcoholic beverage companies are implementing virtual tasting events due to COVID-19.  Participants receive tasting kits in advance.  The kits include miniature bottles of the alcoholic beverages to be tasted, a tasting glass, pairing snacks, and tasting notes.  Lotte Chilsung will be holding an online tasting event on November 28.  It will be held on Zoom, where celebrities will be introducing the whiskey, history and the distillery.  Golden Blue, Orin Swift Wine and Glenfiddich have hosted a virtual event during COVID.

E-Commerce Industry to Expand the Fresh Produce Sector
Summary: Fresh produce product offerings in E-Commerce are expanding.  Consumers are now able to get vegetables, meat and fish from wet markets and wholesale markets the next morning.  Due to the pandemic, more consumers shop online and the trend has expanded to fresh produce shopping.  According to Statistics Korea, sales on online food markets in 2020 was 43.4 trillion won, up 62.4% from 2019.  Sales are expected to grow even more in 2021 as the sales during January to August 2021 reached 37.2 trillion won.  On November 8, Lotte On started offering over 1200 fresh produce and processed products from Garak Market.  For orders placed before 8PM, consumers can receive the orders before 7AM the next day.  The service is currently limited to the Seoul Metropolitan area.  Market Kurly is collaborating with Nonghyup and provides consumers with local agricultural products.  WeMakePrice sells products from six wet markets.

South Korea Implements Virtual Foreign Food Facility Inspections Using High-tech Gear
Summary: AppleMango Korea (AMK), a food industry consulting firm, reported that its virtual foreign food facility inspection service allows Korean food import distributors to comply with the Korean government requirement for foreign food facility inspections.  AMK explained that the Korea Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) revised its regulation in August 2021 to allow “virtual” inspections of foreign facilities that ship products to South Korea when in-person inspection trips are difficult (due to natural disasters or pandemic situations) or when there is a time constraint for in-person inspections.  AMK said that it has branch offices in 11 foreign countries, including the United States, China, and Canada, that can carry out virtual inspections on behalf of Korean import distributors or Korean authorities.  AMK uses Google Glass for real-time transmission of inspection videos to Korean authorities.

MFDS to Replace ‘Sell-By Date’ with ‘Use-By Date’ Labeling from 2023

Summary: The Korea Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) reported on November 5 that the current expiration date labeling regulation for food products, which is on a ‘sell-by date’ basis, will be replaced with ‘use-by date’ labeling from 2023.  MFDS said that the transition to ‘use-by date’ labeling will help reduce food waste and contribute to the global carbon zero efforts by allowing food products to have longer life.  ‘Use-by date’ is a date that the product will remain safe for consumption if stored properly.  Whereas, ‘sell-by date’ is a date that the product is allowed to be sold to consumers.  MFDS added that implementation of ‘use-by date’ on milk would begin in 2031 as the supply chain will need some improvement in cold chain distribution capacity.


Lotte Mart Launches New Fruit Varieties

Summary: Lotte Mart is launching three new types of unique fruits.  One is ‘Shine Tangerine’, a new tangerine variety named after ‘Shine Musket’ for its high brix content.  It has a brix of 3 higher than regular Korean tangerines.  Only 800 packs will be sold in selected Lotte Mart stores.  ‘Heart Crisp Apples’ from Choongju have a heart shape on the surface.  ‘Violet King’ grapes are a hybrid variety developed from cross-breeding Shine Musket and the Wink variety.  Half of the fruit is violet color and the other half is green.  To keep up with the consumers’ demand for new and premium products, Lotte Mart has been developing new fruit varieties since March 2021.  Lotte Mart plans to launch more new varieties such as elongated tomatoes or white strawberries.


Dongwon and Kakao Collaborate to Develop AI Online Commerce Platform

Summary: On November 8, Dongwon F&B and Kakao Enterprise signed an MOU to develop a commerce platform and improve logistics based on the AI technology.  Dongwon plans to incorporate the AI technology for inventory management, customer service, individual recommendation system, and a fresh produce dynamic pricing system.  Kakao Enterprise will provide its digital transformation technology (AI, cloud) to support Dongwon’s platform and logistics.


Daesang Networks has Launched the Meat O2O Platform “Meat Now”

Summary: Daesang Networks has launched “Meat Now”, a butcher O2O (Online to Offline) platform that allows users to receive fresh meat from local butcher shops within an hour.  Consumers can directly compare various butcher shops within 3km of their residence through the Meat Now app or website and order and pay.  Consumers can also request particular cuts of meat.  Not only general butcher shops but also specialized restaurants for special meat parts are available.  According to Daesang Networks, the reason for launching Meat Now is that it was difficult to directly check the quality and control the weight when purchasing meat online.  The service will be operated first in three regions of Seoul and will expand next year.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety’s “In My Hand” App has been Updated to Be More Convenient
Summary: The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety updated its food safety information application.  Several things are newly updated.  First, as the number of people with chronic diseases increases, information on health functional foods and harmful substances has been added.  Detailed information on related products can be checked.  In addition, it is possible to immediately get information by just taking picture of the product’s name.  Hazardous substances, which have recently attracted consumers' interest, are also provided with the eBook.  In the case of domestic foods, barcodes make it easy to check various information along with the expiration date.

"Chi-Mac" Returns in Baseball Parks as 'Life with the COVID-19' Rules Start on November 1
Summary: The Korean government eased its COVID-19 social distancing rules on November 1 under the new "Life with the COVID-19" policy.  As a result, all sports games are allowed to have in-person spectators and serve food and beverages.  "Chi-Mac" (fried chicken and beer), a popular food for baseball fans, returned in baseball parks on November 1 after a nearly 2 years of ban.

The Cost-effective Strategy Worked … Orion’s Sales of Large-capacity / Economical Snacks Jumped
Summary: As food prices continue to rise, consumers are checking prices when choosing products.  Snack products with lower prices per gram are gaining popularity.  Orion’s snacks with large capacity saw their average monthly sales increase by 50 percent this year compared to last year.  According to Orion, they plan to continue releasing cost-effective products that are in demand.

Going on a Kimchi Trip: The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has Begun a One-day Tour for Foreigners
Summary: The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Korea Food Promotion Agency will hold a Kimchi one-day tour for foreigners until the 15th.  Four kimchi masters will introduce representative kimchi from six regions across the country and provide foreigners staying in Korea opportunities to experience Kimchi culture.  The Food Industry Policy officer said he hopes that foreigners will be more attracted to kimchi and Korean food through this event.  They will also resume events that had been canceled due to Covid-19.

Relaxing Regulations on Health Functional Foods
Summary: Regulations on health functional foods have been eased.  It has become possible to produce all-in-one functional foods that can be consumed as a pill or a drink.  Until now, products that were combined with health functional food were not allowed to be sold.  As the government eased regulations, more and more companies such as CJ, Maeil, Pulmuone, and Nutreeone are participating in functional food projects.  The health functional food business is growing every year.  The size of the market has grown more than 5 trillion won this year and is expected to reach 25 trillion won by 2030.

Ministry of Food and Drug Safety Expands the Customized Information System for Imported Foods
Summary: The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has improved imported food information services by providing product images and safety information.  The reorganized service makes it easier for the public to access imported food information based on visual pictures.  An imported food gallery’ was also created.  Information about the importer, manufacturer, and expiration date pop up at once if a person clicks the product photo.  In addition, a new service notifies individuals through e-mail and mobile apps when they subscribe to statistical information on imported foods.

ESG Report Cards of the Major Food Companies have been Announced
Summary: Pulmuone won first place as A+ in the ESG evaluation conducted by the Korea Corporate Governance Service for domestic food companies.  The grades are S(Excellent), A+(Very good), A(Good), B+(Normal), B(Not Bad), C(Bad), and D(Very Bad).  The number of companies that received A increased.  There were no companies that received S and D grades, and Pulmuone topped the list with A+.  The A+ rating is an indicator that the company has a clear sustainable management system.  Daesang, Lotte confectionary, Shinsegae Food, and cheilJedang followed with an A grade. 


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