Market Information   >   Food News Clipping

Food News Clipping

December 13 - 17, 2021


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Monday,  December 20, 2021

For Coverage: December 13 ~ 17, 2021


GS’s Alcoholic Beverage Pick-up Service is Booming

Summary:  Users of ‘Wine 25 Plus’ can now pick up their purchases at not only GS 25 but also GS The Fresh stores.  Wine 25 Plus is an online platform launched by GS 25 in July 2021, where consumers can order from more than 4,500 alcoholic beverage selections and pick up at over 16,000 GS 25 and GS The Fresh stores nearby.  Customers placed over 9,000 orders between December 1-15.  Due to the Wine 25 Plus service, sales of wine, whiskey, and hard liquor increased 43.4% compared to first half of November.  Number 3 Eroica, a premium wine, was the number one product ordered through the platform.  Campari Home-tending Kit was the number two product.  The kit includes the Italian liquor Campari, 4 other liquors, and tools for making cocktails at home.  This product reflected the trend of making cocktails at home.


The Ramen Giant Nongshim Opens a Vegan Restaurant

Summary:  Nongshim announced that it will open a vegan restaurant called Veggie Garden Restaurant in April 2022.  The restaurant is named after its alternative meat brand Veggie Garden.  Nongshim will utilize the technology from the Veggie Garden brand and collaborate with chefs to develop new menus.  Nongshim has its own technology called the High Moisture Meat Analogue technology which makes the taste and texture very similar to actual meat products.  The new restaurant will have more than 20 menus, including appetizers, burgers, steak, pasta, a side menu, and dessert.  Signature dishes are Cheese Fondue Platter, Rigatoni Ragu, Eggplant Lasagna, Mexican Taco Wrap, and Double cheese Avocado Burger.


Promotions for Japanese Beer Resumes

Summary:  Japanese Beers, such as Asahi, Sapporo, and Kirin Ichiban, which had been unavailable in retail stores due to a boycott of Japanese products, are now back in stores.  Lotte Mart included Japanese beers in its “4 for 9,400 won” promotion line-up.  Kirin Ichiban beer was out of stock in one of the Lotte Mart stores due to the promotion.  Japanese beers are going through promotions in convenience stores as well.  The import of Japanese beers increased.  According to Korea Customs Services, 1,072 tons of Japanese beers were imported in January which is up 670.3% from January 2020.  Import have been increasing since September 2021.


The Rise of Highly Pathogenic AI Influenza is Putting Pressure on Food Prices

Summary:  Egg prices are rising.  The retail price of 30 eggs averaged around 6,200 won, up more than 4 percent from a month ago.  This is because 11 domestic poultry farms have been confirmed to have highly pathogenic Avian Influenza.  Domestic chicken companies are also raising prices.  The government is emphasizing compliance with quarantine rules, such as farm disinfection.


Large Discount Stores Compete for Fresh Foods

Summary:  Large discount stores are strengthening their fresh food offerings to compete with e-commerce.  Unlike industrial products that are easy to purchase online, many customers want to see and buy fresh foods such as vegetables and fruits.  E-Mart launched their own fresh food brand Farmer's Pick on the 13th.  E-Mart directly selects farms and is involved in the production and distribution process.  Only good quality products can be sold under the brands.  Hypermarkets are focusing on fresh food because fresh food is more competitive in offline stores.  Currently, the ratio of fresh food to all online transactions is only 4 percent, but these products account for 25 percent of hypermarkets' sales.


Emergency Import Plan for 30 Million U.S. Eggs
The Korean government announced it will go forward with plans to import 30 million fresh eggs from the United States in 2021 due to rising egg prices caused by recent outbreaks of HPAI in local egg farms.  At the beginning of the year Korea planned to import 30 million eggs in 2021 as egg prices had jumped sharply.  However, imports were temporarily put on hold in recent months as domestic egg supply and demand stabilized.  After the recent outbreaks of HPAI at two egg farms, the Korean government decided to restart fresh egg imports to prevent price hikes in traditional markets and major retailers.


Market Access Quota for 14 Items, Including Red Beans and Mung Beans, will be Increased

Summary:  Market access quotas are set to ensure minimum market access while maintaining high tariffs on imports exceeding the quota.  The government will expand market access quotas to 14 items, including red beans and mung beans, to resolve supply and demand imbalances and price instability caused by current World Trade Organization quotas falling short of domestic demand.  As a result, the government will increase the quotas from 14,694 tons to 23,894 tons by the end of 2022.


Infant Food Production Decreased by More Than 50 Percent over Four Years

Summary:  Domestic infant food production fell 56 percent in volume from 65,814 tons in 2016 to 28,934 tons last year.  Infant food production fell 13.5 percent by value over the past four years to 2,607 billion won in 2020.  According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Distribution Corporation, the milk powder market shrunk due to low birth rates.  Still, the baby food market steadily increased, including increased demand for food delivery due to demand from busy parents.  The core trends in the infant food market in 2021 were "premium" and "simple," showing a preference for handmade, organic, simple, and delivery baby foods.



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