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Food News Clipping

December 27, 2021 - January 7, 2022


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Friday,  January 7,  2022

For Coverage: December 27, 2021 ~ January 7, 2022

Private Brand Dairy Products Surpass the National Brands in Sales at GS Fresh Mall 

Summary:  GS Fresh Mall, the online grocery shopping platform of GS Retail, reported on January 7th that their private brand Pure White Farm products are taking over the position of national brand products.  Pure White Farm Milk has replaced the number one player Denmark Danish Milk in the milk category and widened its sales gap by 2.5 times.  Similarly, Pure White Farm Animal Welfare Yogurt has widened its sales gap with Activias by 5.3 times.  Both Pure White Farm milk and yogurt is rated high in quality, but are available at a 20% cheaper prices on average.  GS Fresh Mall said that growing customer interest in high quality affordably priced private brand products is the reason for the sharp increase in sales. 


Ottogi Actively Targets the Frozen Dumpling Market with New X.O. Dumplings 

Summary:  According to Nielson Korea, the frozen dumpling market has shown constant growth reaching $54.55 million last year.  The trend of eating at home during the prolonged pandemic accounts for the growth.  Ottogi is trying to keep pace with this trend by extending its product line of dumplings.  X.O. dumplings was positioned as a high quality frozen food product when it was launched in 2019.  The new type of X.O. dumplings are filled with Korean pork without using cellophane noodles, which differentiates it from the previous dumplings. 


Lotte Home Shopping Launches Space Protein Made by MZ Generation Employees 

Summary:  Lotte Home Shopping reported on January 6th that they have launched a protein bar designed by employees that belong to the MZ generation.  It took 4 months of development before Space Protein was sold on the crowd funding platform called Wadiz Since Space Protein mainly targets the MZ generation, the package was designed to suite their tastes.  Choi Mi-Ryeong, leader of the MZ private brand development team, has said it was an effort to connect with MZ generation consumers.    


Price of Strawberries Went Up Drastically 

Summary:  According to Food Information Statistics System (FIS), the retail price of strawberries has reached 2,661 won ($2.21) per 100g, 54% higher than last year.  Abnormally high temperatures had damaged seeds and later cold snaps damaged production, causing overall harvest yields to decrease.   

Starbucks is Planning a Price Increase for Americanos, Which Remained The Same for The Past Eight Years 

Summary:  The price of a Starbucks Americano has remained unchanged for about 8 years after it rose from 3,300 won to 4,100 won ($3.66) in July 2014.  Therefore, Starbucks was able to provide Americanos to customers at a relatively lower price than other franchises like Angel-in-Us and Coffee Bean.  The price of Arabica coffee beans was affected by the sluggish export of beans from leading producers such as Brazil and Ethiopia.  The change in bean supplies is expected to affect other coffee franchises as well.   


Drinking-alone Trend Leads to Increased Imports of Wine and Whiskey in 2021 

Summary:  Wine and whiskey imports increased significantly in 2021 as consumers drank at home more during the pandemic.  According to the Korea Customs Service, in 2021 wine import reached 561.7 million dollars from January to November, up 76% from same period in 2020.  Whiskey imports totaled 154.3 million dollars in 2021, up 37.4% compared to 2020.  Whiskey import have been stagnant since it reached 270.3 million dollars in 2007.  Industry experts analyzed that the drinking at home trend has become widespread due to prolonged social distancing.  Moreover, consumers are now more familiar with wine and whiskey as convenience stores and large retail stores are diversifying their product lineups. 


Agricultural and Fisheries Food Exports Reached $11.36 Billion Last Year, The Highest Ever 

Summary:  Korean exports of agriculture and fisheries reached $11.36 billion in 2021 for the first time, up 15.1% from the previous year.  Despite difficult export conditions due to the spread of COVID and the global logistics crisis, the popularity of health products and home meal replacements made it possible to reach record agricultural exports.  Regarding fisheries, exports of fish cakes and oysters have increased along with seaweed.  With the spread of the Korean Wave, about $700 million in seaweed has been exported to 114 countries in 2021, an increase of 15.4% compared to the year before. 


Spacecrafts, NFT and Meat Substitutes Lead CES 2022 

Summary:  Plant-based meat substitutes and kitchen robots are to be exhibited at CES 2022 since food technology has been selected as a main theme of the event.  Acceleration of climate change along with the COVID pandemic raised interest in food technologies like vegetable protein, eco-friendly agriculture, and food waste disposal machines.  Investment in those areas has also increased significantly.  According to Pitchbook, investment in global food tech startups in the first half of 2021 was $16 billion (about 19 trillion won).  Various new products and services will be displayed at CES ranging from vegetable substitutes like Impossible Foods to John Deere US and many other agricultural technologies.  Among Korean firms, Nuvilab invested by NAVER will introduce their auto AI food diary.  This service provides information about managing food ingredients and ways of minimizing food waste by applying AI scanning technology. 


GS25s Bakery Brand Breadique Reaches 14 Million Sales in One Year 

Summary:  Sales of premium bread in convenience stores are increasing as more consumers prefer bread over rice for meals.  Convenience store GS25s private label bakery brand Breadique reached a 31.5% market share in the bakery category.  Breadique, which was launched in January 2021, started out with only three products.  It has expanded its product line to 53 products since then.  Along with the success of Breadique, the sales of premium bread at GS 25 has increased 122.3% compared to the year before.  


Frozen Pizza Sales Exceed Sales at Pizza Franchises 

Summary:  As more consumers are eating at home since the pandemic, demand for HMR and frozen food products has increased.  Along with the trend, sales of frozen pizza have exceeded sales of pizza at franchises such as Pizza Hut and Dominos Pizza.  Frozen pizza in the past was considered a value product since processors lacked experience and technology to produce high quality products.  However, after the pandemic changed consumers dining patterns, food processors focused on developing premium frozen products.  As a result, new products such as CJ Cheiljedangs Gourmet Premium Pizza and Pulmuones No Edge Pizza became popular among consumers.  Ottogi is the number one player in the frozen pizza market with a 41.3% market share, followed by CJ Cheiljedang and Pulmuone. 


Imports of Replacement Sweeteners Increased Five Fold Over the Past Six Years 
 While imports of sugar have decreased since 2015, imports of erythritol, an alternative sweetener, has increased about fivefold over the past six years.  Also the import of food that can be used in dishes reflecting Korean consumers changing tastes are increasing.  In particular, imports of avocados, a tropical fruit used in rice bowls, sandwiches, and salads, were only 1,500 metric tons in 2015, but imports increased more than tenfold to over 16,000 metric tons this year.  A recent analysis by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) revealed that Korean consumers' tastes are getting more diversified and detailed, and home cooking/home cafe culture is spreading rapidly in Korea. 

Seven Eleven Opens Wine Studio in its Gangnam Branch 
Summary:  Seven Eleven opened a Wine Studio wine store on the second floor of one of its branches in Gangnam.  The new wine store is around 1,070 square feet and carries more than 300 different products.  The products are divided by continent, variety, and MDs recommendations.  The store also sells cheese and hams that can be paired with wine.  Seven Eleven plans to expand Wine Studio to more branches in different areas. 
Dongwon F&B Launches a Vegetarian Drink Green Denmark] 
Summary:  Dongwon F&B launched a vegetarian milk Green Denmark.  Green Denmark comes in two types- one made from Canadian oats and the other made from California almonds.  The taste and texture is similar to milk so consumers can enjoy café lattes when consumed with coffee.  A pack of Green Denmark (190mL) is only 45kcal but contains 33% of the recommended daily intake of calcium and Vitamin D.  It also contains postbiotics.  Green Denmark is targeted towards the younger generations who are interested in veganism and health.  The packaging is made out of paper approved by the Forest Stewardship Council.  This reflects Dongwons efforts at sustainable consumption.  Dongwon hopes to increase its market share in the vegetarian drink market by expanding distribution channels and launching new products. 



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