Market Information   >   Food News Clipping

Food News Clipping

November 29 - December 10, 2021


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Monday,  December 13, 2021

For Coverage: November 29 ~ December 10, 2021


Beef and Pork Home Meal Replacements and Delivery Chicken have Increased Since COVID-19 Summary: According to a survey of 1,500 people nationwide conducted by the Rural Development Administration in September, "home cooking" accounted for a high percentage of consumption of pork (60.3 percent), beef (50.4 percent), and chicken (44 percent).  In addition to home consumption, pork and beef consumption consisted of: 18% for dining out, 15% for home meal replacement (HMR) foods, and 11% for delivery.  The delivery consumption rate for chicken was high (30 percent), while HMR and dining consumption was 13 and 12 percent respectively.  Compared to last year, pork consumption fell 20 percent as the primary dining-out method decreased.  Imported beef consumption increased more than local beef consumption due to prices.  

Snack Market Demand Increases Due to Staying at Home and Social Media Trends Summary: The size of the Korean snack market is expected to rise 4.5 percent from last year to 3.7 trillion won in 2021.  More and more people eat snacks while watching Netflix at home after the pandemic.  In addition, there is a trend amongst people in their teens and twenties of eating limited edition snacks and posting on social media.  According to SPC Samlip, marketing and the launch of new products has also boosted demand.  The Domestic Health Functional Food Market Reaches 5 Trillion Won ... Expanding 20% over Five Years Summary: The domestic health functional food market exceeded 5 trillion won this year.  This is an increase of more than 20 percent compared to 2017.  According to a professional research survey, 8 out of 10 consumers (81%) said they purchase health functional foods at least once a year.  The average purchase amount per household was 310,000 won, and consumption increased over three years.  Red ginseng accounted for 61% of health food gifts, followed by vitamins at 7.8%.  The gift market has become more active than in the past due to the trend of sending gifts to family members. 


The Value of Market Kurly has Risen Tremendously to 4 Trillion Won

Summary: Market Kurly recently attracted 250 billion won in a pre IPO, achieving market value of up to 4 trillion won.  It was valued at around 2 trillion won this past June.  Market Kurly had 953 billion won in sales last year, 300 times its initial 2.9 billion won in sales when it was established in 2015.  Market Kurly aims to diversify its business based on this growth and plans to establish its own Curly Pay payment system.  It is also working on a delivery system in collaboration with CJ.


Famous Restaurant’s Menus Available at Home … Food Industries are Targeting RMR Market

Summary: Restaurant Meal Replacements (RMR) are a new trend, allowing people to enjoy popular menus at home.  The RMR market is growing rapidly as part of the trend of eating at home due to the pandemic.  According to the Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Cooperation, the domestic home meal replacement (HMR) market has grown from 2 trillion won in 2016 to 4 trillion won in 2019.  It is expected to surpass 5 trillion won by 2022.  Accordingly, companies like CJ, Hyundai Green Food and Lotte, are releasing new HMR products in collaboration with famous restaurants.

Agricultural and Fisheries Exports Surpass $10 Billion for the First Time

Summary: The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said on November 28th that exports of agricultural and fisheries food surpassed $10 billion for the first time since.  As of last month, exports totaled 10.1 billion won, up 16.1% from the previous year.  Despite Covid 19, exports of Korean food and agriculture reached a record high of $9.8 billion last year.  In particular, ginseng, kimchi, strawberries and grapes showed significant growth.  Seaweed is still the No.1 item, with exports of over $600 million.

For Both Tastes and Entertainment … Food Companies are Opening Pop-up Restaurants Aimed at the MZ Generation

Summary: Recently, food companies are introducing their own restaurants to maximize their brand experience.  These restaurants are decorated with instagramable interiors and located in popular areas like Hannam-dong.  The MZ generation, who like to take pictures, continue to visit.  The restaurant serves as a kind of flagship store.  Food companies open restaurants like this because what young consumers do works as marketing: the MZ generation enjoys on-site experiences and shares them on social media.  Food companies are trying to gain a new image beyond their cheap, mass-produced image of existing processed foods.  Therefore more and more companies are opening their own restaurants.


Lotte Mart will Fill 70 Percent of the Store’s First Floor with Wine

Summary: Lotte Marat will convert 70 percent of the store area on the first floor into a large wine shop.  They plan to attract consumers with a range of wine products.  Lotte Mart expects that wine will also increase consumer purchases.  Lotte Mart will change the first floor of the Jamsil branch to a ‘Bottle Bunker’ from next month and display more than 4,000 kinds of wines.  They plan to gradually expand to stores in large cities like Busan where wine consumption is high.  Lotte Mart has set a goal of raising the average consumer expenditure at the Jamsil branch from 36,000 won to more than 70,000 won.  According to Lotte Shopping, they will switch to an aggressive marketing strategy after the renovation.  

The 2022 Food Trend is Rapid Growth in Frozen HMR and Alternative Plant-based Foods

Summary: On November 24, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Distribution Corporation held the ‘2022 Food and Restaurant Industry Outlook Conference’ to analyze current food and restaurant trends.  According to an announcement at the conference, plant-based alternative foods will grow rapidly next year as interest in sustainabilitypollution, animal welfare, and health grow.  They predicted that frozen HMR foods will also continue to grow as people cook at home more due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Warehouse-type Discount Store Sales Increase Summary: Costco, a warehouse-type discount store, has surpassed 5 trillion won in sales for the first time since it entered Korea.  E-Mart Traders is also expected to exceed 3 trillion won in sales for the first time this year.  Warehouse-type stores seem to be succeeding by attracting general consumers and small business owners.  Analysts say that the strategy of selling cheaply even with reduced margins has attracted customers to visit regularly.  In addition, the strategy of mass sales with a fewer types of products has been in line with the recent trend of consuming only necessary products.  The average purchase per customer has risen because it only sells products that consumers need at a low price.  Furthermore, exclusive products sold at warehouse-type discount stores is one of their competitive advantages.  For instance, Kirkland, a Costco private brand, is considered better quality than ordinary products. Other stores are also working on developing their own private brand products.

Whiskey Season is Back, and This Year's Imports have Increased in Seven Years Summary: According to the Korea Customs Service, whiskey imports reached $93 million this year, a 72 percent increase from last year.  It is the first time since 2014 that whiskey imports have increased.  Although COVID-19 has not ended, whiskey imports have increased due to a new trend of drinking at home.  Whiskey’s popularity among young consumers is growing.  Whiskey used to be seen as a drink consumed away from home, but this has changed to a simple glass that can be drunk before bed.  As a result, whiskey importers are performing better after a long slump.



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